A Foreign Non-resident’s Guide to Purchasing Residential Property in Australia

In Australia, foreign non-residents are usually required to obtain foreign investment approval before purchasing residential real estate. There are limitations and requirements based on the type of residential property to be purchased.

Disclaimer: The above diagram was prepared based on information from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) website and should not be completely relied on. For more information and guidance on the purchase of residential property in Australia, visit the FIRB website at https://firb.gov.au/  

Disclaimer: The above diagram was prepared based on information from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) website and should not be completely relied on. For more information and guidance on the purchase of residential property in Australia, visit the FIRB website at https://firb.gov.au/

 

Established/Existing Properties

Foreign non-residents are generally not allowed to purchase established properties. The only exception is when a property is purchased to be redeveloped to increase the housing stock. E.g. If one property is demolished and at least two are built in its place.

New Properties

There are no limitations to purchasing new properties. Foreign non-residents must submit an application which will generally be approved without condition. Note, however, that foreign non-residents may not require separate approval if the property is to be purchased from a developer that holds a new dwelling exemption certificate for that specific development. Always ask for a copy of the certificate and check to ensure that no further approval is required.

Fees

The application fee must be paid in full before the application is even considered. The fee payable will depend on the value of the residential property to be purchased.

Application Form

Application forms to obtain approval for the purchase of residential property in Australia can be completed and submitted via the Australian Taxation Office Website at https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Gen/Residential-real-estate-application-form/