Property investment in Australia for foreigners and expats

We specialise in helping overseas buyers (expats and foreign investors) find their investment property or dream home in Australia.

Australia is one of the world’s greatest places to live and one of the most stable markets in which to invest. We have a stable government, sound economy and a strong legal system.
However, the rules for expats and foreigners (non-Australian citizens) buying Australian real estate are different.
In particular foreigners (non-residents) must get approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) before they can buy a property

Our services when buying property in Australia as an expat

Whether you are looking for a home or a top performing investment property we have the local knowledge and expertise, plus a strong network legal, finance and accounting contacts across Australia to assist you.

How Metropole can help foreigner investors?

Being a non-citizen outside of Australia makes it very difficult for you to obtain the same high-quality information that the locals get.

And, as explained, there are restrictions imposed on you by the Foreign Investment Review Board. Plus, it is hard to create the many relationships that are mandatory for a successful outcome.

Why should you choose Metropole?

We understand the local markets and have access to all new and “silent” listings. With offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and associates in Perth, we have access to all the major property markets in Australia.

Remember – we have no properties for sale, so we work for you and not the seller, the property developer or the property marketer. This means we are unbiased and give you the “facts” … isn’t that what you need?

If you are looking for a home, we can show you the suburbs that have the best lifestyle, schools, entertainment, sporting facilities.

If you are looking for an investment, our multi-award-winning team buy more investment properties for Australians than any other buyers’ agent. Isn’t that the team you want working for you?

Click here to learn more about how we can help you.

Here’s what type of Australian property foreign investors can buy?

According to the Australian Government’s Foreign Investment Review Board website, foreign investment approval is generally required before an overseas resident can purchase residential property in Australia.

The government has also taken the stance that overseas investment should add to the existing housing stock, as this creates jobs in the building industry and supports Australia’s economic growth.

Foreign buyers must also pay an application fee to buy a residential property.

For properties valued under $1 million, this fee is $5,000; for those valued over $1 million, the fee is $10,000, with an extra $10,000 charged for each additional million dollars in property value.

Foreigners may also buy commercial property or residential real estate which is to be developed.

Non-residents

Foreign non-residents are not Australian citizens and do not live permanently in Australia.

They include individuals who hold visas that permit them to remain in Australia for only a limited period, as well as foreign governments, corporations and general partners of a limited partnership who meet the definition of a foreign person, and trustees of a trust that meets the definition of a foreign person.

Before buying a residential property, non-residents need to apply for and receive foreign investment approval from FIRB, which is subject to meeting certain criteria:

  • Foreign non-residents cannot buy established dwellings, but they can buy new dwellings or “off the plan” property. There is no limit on the number of new dwellings they can buy, although the FIRB needs to give approval prior to each acquisition.
  • Foreign non-residents are normally allowed to buy an established dwelling for redevelopment, provided the redevelopment increases the housing stock, the project is completed within four years of the date of approval, and the existing dwelling is not rented out prior to demolition and redevelopment.
  • Foreign non-residents can also buy vacant land for residential dwelling development, subject to the development being completed within four years of the date of approval and evidence of the project’s completion being submitted within 30 days of being received.

Temporary residents

Temporary residents either hold a temporary visa that permits them to remain in Australia for a continuous period of more than 12 months, or have applied for a permanent visa and hold a bridging visa that allows them to stay in the country until that application is finalised.

Before buying a residential property, they need to apply for and receive foreign investment approval from FIRB

Temporary residents may be able to buy

  • One established dwelling, which must be used as their principal place of residence. They cannot rent out any part of the property, they must sell it within three months of ceasing to use it as their principal place of residence, and they must ensure the property is vacant at settlement.
  • They are also normally allowed to buy an established dwelling for redevelopment, provided the redevelopment genuinely increases the housing stock; the project is completed within four years of the date of approval, and the existing dwelling is not rented out prior to demolition and redevelopment.
  • New or off the plan dwellings
  • Temporary residents can also buy vacant land for residential dwelling development, subject to the development being completed within four years of the date of approval and evidence of the project’s completion being submitted within 30 days of being received.

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