Can Foreigners Buy Property in Australia? An Expat Guide
Buying property is a monumental milestone. And if you’re ready to that leap in a foreign country like Australia, you’ll face some challenges.
But if you’re wondering “Can foreigners buy property in Australia?” we’re here to tell you that it is possible. Let’s review some of the most important things to keep in mind before you dive into buying property in the land down under.
Can Foreigners Buy Property in Australia? Yes
There’s a simple answer to this important question, and it’s yes. While it is possible for non-citizens to purchase property in Australia, foreigners don’t have the same privileges as residents.
In addition to the usual considerations such as your budget and financial situation, you must be aware of the rules that international buyers must follow.
Rules for Foreigners Buying Property in Australia
Buying property in Australia is an exciting possibility for non-residents. But there are several crucial guidelines to be mindful of before you pursue a property purchase.
Types of Property
Foreigners are limited to the types of property they can buy. Previously inhabited homes are off-limits. That also means that non-residents cannot purchase a recently renovated home that is now vacant.
New dwellings are considered to be properties that have never been lived in/on. If a property is a part of a housing development, that unit is only considered new if it was sold directly by the developer and no one lived there for more than a year.
There is some wiggle room for buying an existing residence, as long as your remodeling plans are deemed as assets to the country’s housing stock.
Additionally, vacant lots for building properties are permissible — as long as foreigner buyers build the brand-new structure within four years of receiving official approval from the FIRB (Foreign Investment Review Board).
Secure Approval from FIRB
Any foreign investment property must be green-lighted by the Foreign Investment Review Board.
Non-residents must get approval from this body that confirms that a purchase or new dwelling adds to the country’s housing marketing and the greater economy.
The possible penalties for not receiving approval from FIRB include fines of as much as $135,000 and/or up to three years in prison.
Since FIRB approval is so crucial, non-residents should avoid signing a housing contract before first getting approval from this board.
Pay an Application Fee
As a foreigner, you’re subject to paying an application fee when purchasing a property in Australia.
This fee could range anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 on properties starting at under $1 million and well exceeding that. If you’re curious about your estimated cost, you can use the FIRB fee estimator tool to get a handle on what you might owe.
How to Make a Foreign Property Investment in Australia
Similar to shopping for a property in the US, you could start your real estate search online. Checking popular online listing sites like realestate.com.au can be a helpful starting point.
But your best bet is to find a mortgage broker. They can help you understand the rules of the Australian housing market.
And since there are added complications as a foreigner, you’ll be best served to find a mortgage firm that specializes in helping non-residents with the application process.
Now that you have your answer to the question “Can foreigners buy property in Australia?” don’t just stop there. Stay tuned to our site for the latest news and more lifestyle tidbits.
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