Are You a Non-Resident Buying Property in Australia?
Buying or building your own home is the great Australian dream. But, it's not just Australian residents looking to secure their piece of the Australian property market, with foreign investors, long-term residents, and even parents of students also eager to invest.
However, the rules for non-residents buying property in Australia are complex and subject to regular changes making it a confusing and at times, frustrating process. So who exactly can purchase property in Australia and what type of property can you buy?
In this article, we look at the conditions and permissions around non-residents buying property in Australia and the process they need to go through.
Can I buy and build if I’m not an Australian citizen?
The short answer is yes. Foreign and temporary residents and even short-term visa holders are allowed to buy investment properties and residential real estate in Australia under certain conditions.
In order to purchase, you must first be granted permission to do so by the Foreign Investment Review Board. The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) is the authority on non-resident property purchases in Australia with a strict set of rules that must be satisfied for a purchase to be approved.
What kinds of property can non-residents buy in Australia?
To encourage non-resident investors to add to the Australian housing stock rather than compete with residents for the limited supply of existing properties, the Australian Government has implemented a policy limiting the types of properties they can acquire.
Essentially, the policy aims to ensure foreign property investment is targeted at new dwellings instead of established dwellings. By investing in building new properties, more jobs will be created in the construction industry, growing the national economy, while also allowing the state governments to gain revenue through stamp duty taxes.
For a non-resident buying property in Australia, you can purchase:
New buildings: Defined by the FIRB defines as property that has not been previously sold as a dwelling and has not been previously occupied. If the original property developer sells an investment property, it must not have been occupied for more than 12 months.
Vacant land: The purchase of vacant land is approved by the FIRB subject to a property being constructed within four years of the approval date. Once construction has been completed, proof must be sent to the FIRB within 30 days.
There is an exception for temporary residents. Temporary residents can apply to purchase established residential property to reside in, provided that they sell the home once they leave the country. However, if the temporary resident becomes a citizen or permanent resident, they will not have to sell the dwelling.
The benefits of buying land and house & land packages within estates
Creating a home and a life in a foreign country can be challenging and stressful. Luckily, leveraging the experience and expertise of renowned property developers like LWP Group can make the process easy and rewarding for non-residents.
When you purchase land or a house & land package within Oakebella, Wellard estate in Perth, you get the added peace of mind of knowing you’ll be living in an estate from an internationally awarded urban developer committed to bringing communities to life by creating better places for people to live, work and play.
You also get all the other benefits of buying a new home including statutory warranty periods, less maintenance, an easier moving-in process if you plan to occupy the property, as well as higher increases in property value, making it a good investment.
How does the FIRB application process work?
For non-residents looking to buy property in Australia, FIRB approval is required.
If you are familiar with FIRB rules regarding foreign investors purchasing property, the application process is fairly straightforward. The online application form can be found on the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website.
In addition to the application form, you'll be required to pay an application fee which is dependent on the cost of the new property or vacant land you want to buy.
Once submitted, it generally takes less than 30 days for your application to be approved or declined.
How do I find the perfect property to purchase?
If you’re a non-resident looking to buy property in Australia, a member of our Land Sales team can help you find the perfect block for your dream forever home.
Foreign Investment Review Board, Residential real estate, accessed 27.03.2023, https://firb.gov.au/residential-real-estate
Australian Taxation Office, Foreign investment in Australia, accessed 27.03.2023, https://www.ato.gov.au/general/foreign-investment-in-australia/
The information provided on this website is general in nature and should not be acted upon without consulting a qualified financial advisor, and LWP Property Group is not responsible for any actions taken based on the information provided. LWP also disclaims any responsibility for inaccuracies, errors, or omissions in the information, and the user assumes all responsibility and risk associated with using the material on the website.