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Real Estate Australia for Foreign Investors

Investing in Australia Property

Looking to buy property in Australia? The rules by the Australian Government for buying real estate in Australia, homes or investment properties for overseas investors have been made easier.

However, before buying land, home, or commercial real estate as an overseas investor, you will need to obtain an approval from the Government in Australia.

There are reasons for this. The government has stated it wishes to increase the number of new houses, condominiums, townhouses, villas, units and apartments being built in this country, and is inviting overseas investors to invest in Australia.

Immigrating to Australia - Permanent Residents

If you hold a permanent resident visa, or are already an Australian citizen, these types of restrictions do not apply.

Other exceptions include if you are the holder of a ‘Special Category Visa’ such as given to New Zealand citizens, or married to an Australian citizen and want to buy residential real estate for joint tenancy.

Real Estate Vacant Land

If you wish to purchase open land, you will need to start building within twelve months, continuous.

Foreign Investors can also buy existing homes for redevelopment but the home will need to be unoccupied during the work.

Buy Units, Apartments, Townhouses or Villas

Foreign investors are usually able to get approval to buy units, apartments, townhouses, condominiums and other similar residential properties. They must be new, having never been occupied or sold, or those in the planning stages - termed ‘buying off the plan’ in Australia. The other limit is that only 50% of the new development can be purchased by overseas investors.

You may also be able to purchase after obtaining approval if you are a foreign national resident in this country for more than twelve months.

Obtain Approval

You will need to supply the address of the residential property you wish to purchase. If you sign any contracts before the Australian Government has given approval - you will be turned down.

Foreign investors cannot obtain ‘in-principle-approval’. Therefore, do not sign any contracts unless they specifically state it is conditional upon approval from the Australian Government.

Do not get caught out by signing a contract before approval, or get talked into signing before approval for you to invest here.

Australian Property Investment

Other important factors to consider, including seeking professional advice:

  • How much to borrow, bearing in mind how much you can actually afford to borrow.
  • How much one can afford for investment.
  • Actual costs to the investor before and after tax.
  • Where to invest and what type of investment(s) could potentially give you the best return over the years.
  • Understanding and managing the risks that may be involved balanced against optimum capital growth.
  • Obtain information on the better places to invest in Australia.
  • Fluctuations in Foreign Currency compared to the Australian Dollar (AUD) and of course, Interest Rates.

There is professional advice available from various institutions, as well as advice from the Australian Government.

Before actually purchasing, it is always recommended that you seek professional advice to learn more about Australia foreign investment rules and about buying land or other investment properties in Australia.

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