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Your All-In-One Guide to Buying Property in Australia as a Foreigner


Sydney, Australia

The Australian property market has shown extraordinary progress in recent years by becoming a top choice amongst people who want to buy overseas property. Its strong housing market along with the way of life it provides ensures brimming investors in this location.

Are you looking for a promising property market to invest in? Look no further, learn why and how to buy property in Australia as a foreigner below!

Jump to:

  1. Types of properties foreign investors can purchase
  2. Steps when buying a property in Australia
  3. How can you apply for a foreign investment approval?

Types of properties foreign investors can purchase

In Australia, there are rules and regulations around the type of housing foreigners can purchase. You have to apply for the FIRB (The Foreign Investment Review Board) to get approval before buying your desired property.

FIRB (The Foreign Investment Review Board)


FIRB works to advise the government (and the treasurer) on the country’s Foreign Investment Policies. They give approval on applications and investments to increase the housing supply of Australia.

Considering this factor, the types of properties foreign investors can purchase are –

  • New buildings: Usually approved without conditions.
  • Empty lands: Construction of those planned to be completed within four years.
  • Established dwellings: Can be permitted to buy only when you have a plan to demolish the existing dwelling and replace it with a greater number than it.
  • When the purpose of buying is to live: Can be permitted to buy a home to live in if they are a temporary Australian resident. The home must be sold while leaving Australia unless you become a citizen or permanent resident.


Steps when buying a property in Australia

  1. Set your investment goal

Setting a goal for your investment is very important and can be considered as the first step into the investment journey. Your purpose, budget, location, type of the property – all must be correlated.

Beautiful women smiling sitting at table

Since some investments require approval from the FIRB, you have to have a clear idea if you are a non-resident buyer. You have to do research having all these points in mind and make a list before making any purchase.

  1. Find a Real estate agent

When you know your goal and is sure about investing, it is highly recommended to contact a real estate agent or buyer’s agent. An estate agent has a good knowledge of the localities and they can help you according to your choice and budget.

Real Estate Agent

Even when you have communication barriers (especially if you are Chinese and cannot communicate properly in English), you surely have to consider hiring an agent. Agents are skilled in language and can speak both fluent English and fluent Mandarin. It helps both parties to prevent miscommunication.

You are encouraged to prepare questions to ask the real estate agents so that you can avoid any future problems. Also, you have to make sure that the agent is licensed to avoid double-dealing.

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  1. Find a solicitor

A solicitor is the one who would help you to shift the property from the seller and review the contract. So, the next step is to find a solicitor who definitely needs to be licensed as well. You can consider looking at the international banks to get help to find a solicitor.

  1. Apply for a loan as a foreigner

Then you have to apply for a loan as a non-resident foreigner. The best way here is to select prestigious banks. Make phone calls to their local branches and ask for details regarding the loans that are offered in their banks, and what different loans are offered in different conditions.


When you apply for a loan, you will have to pay fees to set up the loan, stamp duty, and other related fees during the loan application.

  1. Submit the offer

The next step is to propose an offer and submit it when you have selected the area where you plan to buy your property. You will have options of making different kinds of offers that can be conditional or unconditional.

If your offer is accepted by the seller, you will need to proceed with the purchase of the property. Your agent will help you to proceed with this if you engaged with one.

  1. Pay the deposit to finalize

Here’s a quick flow of what you’ll have to go through to finalize your property:


Generally, foreigners have to pay a deposit ranging from AUD 2,000 or 10% of the property price. You have to do it with the help of your preferred bank.


Once you pay the deposit, the bank will prepare the loan documents and a Letter of Offer for you to conclude the loan application.


Your solicitor will prepare a document called Transfer of Land, and you will have to sign it. This is usually sent approximately 2 weeks before the settlement (the ownership of the property).


After that, you will receive the ownership of the property, and you will have to pay the remaining costs.


After you sign the document, they will bring it to your bank. The bank will register it at the State/Territory Title’s office, and then the property will be transferred to your name.


Finally, when all is done, your real estate agent will be notified to give you the keys to the property, and you will also receive a Statement of Adjustment.


The property is now officially yours!


To conclude, let’s know –

How can you apply for a foreign investment approval?

To get the foreign investment approval from FIRB, firstly, foreigners will need to submit an application on the Australian Taxation Office’s website, with this information:

  • Your contact information
  • The applicant’s name
  • Application type
  • Information regarding the property
  • A final declaration

If you face trouble regarding it after submitting the form, you will have to call the tax office. You will get a reply to your application within 10 days, or it may up to a maximum of 30 days.

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