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Can You Buy a House in Australia From Overseas? Your FAQs Answered

This article is sponsored by Central Equity

Whether you’re looking at a long stay or a future investment, you might be wondering if international students can buy real estate in Australia.

Well, If you hold a Student visa (subclass 500), this may not be such a distant dream! However, while you may be eligible to purchase property in the country, there are a few important things you need to know before you buy.

Read on to discover how to buy a house in Australia as an international student. 

Can international students (or their parents) buy property in Australia?

Under current visa regulations, international students are allowed to buy property in Australia. However, there are some things to keep in mind. 

Firstly,  you will need to meet all regular financial requirements in order to apply for a home loan, also known as a mortgage.

Getting a home loan on a student visa can be tricky, as most banks have strict criteria for this type of loan application. You may even end up paying a higher interest rate because you are a temporary resident.

Additionally, you must have at least 12 months left on your visa when you apply for your mortgage. You must advise the bank if you change visas during your loan, but this isn’t likely to cause a problem so long as you remain a temporary resident. 

As a foreign investor, there are also restrictions on the type of property you can buy and what you can do with it. 

For example, if you are buying a house to live in, you may buy either an established dwelling – a home that has already been built and lived in, or a new dwelling – a brand new house that has never been occupied. 

What are Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) regulations?

The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) plays an important role in overseeing foreign investments in Australia to ensure that they support the country’s national interest. 

Non-residents, including international students, must receive approval from FIRB before they can purchase residential real estate. This approval is mandatory and requires you to meet specific guidelines and conditions.

In most cases, you will also need to contact the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to notify them of your intent to purchase residential land. 

You can find more information about these conditions on the FIRB website, along with comprehensive resources, guidelines, and application procedures to help you successfully navigate the approvals process.

In some cases, properties may already be approved by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board, such as Parkhill in Melbourne, meaning the process for purchasing is streamlined and easy for overseas buyers. 

How do you buy property in Australia from overseas?

Buying a house as a temporary resident requires careful financial preparation.

Your first step should be to calculate your budget, factoring in not just how much you want to spend on a property but also additional costs, like stamp duty, inspections and legal fees. Typically, you’ll need to have saved a deposit of at least 20 per cent of the dwelling’s value.

Once you know your budget, do some research into houses or apartments that match your desired location, amenities and personal preferences. 

Once you’ve found a place you wish to buy, you’ll need to secure financing. You can do this through a home loan or explore other options like parental support.

You may even be able to jointly purchase a property. For example, you might choose to buy with your partner if you’re in a relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident. 

How can you find support when buying property in Australia?

Buying a house doesn’t have to be stressful, and help is available to international students and other temporary residents.

Experienced developers like Central Equity can provide support to those navigating purchasing property in Australia. With over 35 years of experience in the market, they are the experts in providing international buyers a smooth journey to home ownership.

With the right support and knowledge, you can make your dream of owning a home in Australia a reality.