If you are a foreigner living in Sydney, Australia, and browsing ‘can I buy property in Sydney?‘, then the answer is yes.

To buy property in Australia, you typically need to be a citizen or a permanent resident of the country, and many of the house loans that are offered demand that the buyer be an Australian citizen or resident.

However, there is no cause for alarm because non-citizens are still able to purchase real estate in the country; however, the home in question must be regarded as an investment and official authorization must be obtained.

What are the steps involved in purchasing a home in Australia?

To begin, as a non-Australian resident, you will be required to file an application with the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), the government agency in Australia that is in charge of evaluating non-Australians who wish to purchase or invest in real estate in the country.

In the event that you are given permission to purchase an investment property, there are a few things that you should bear in mind:

If you want to develop a new property, you need to start with an empty lot or a fresh piece of land.
It is not allowed for the investment property to be a preexisting residence.
Now, if you do buy an establishment dwelling, you are forced to reside in it and then sell it once you no longer live there. If you do buy an establishment dwelling, you are required to live in it.

Charges levied against non-native buyers of real estate

The FIRB will charge you an application fee, the amount of which is determined by the value of the property you intend to purchase. This number can change, but if you’re looking to buy a home that costs less than $1 million, you could expect to pay a fee of somewhere around $6,000.

On the other hand, if you’re buying a home that costs more than $3 million, you can expect to pay a fee of approximately $38,000. Before making a purchase, you should verify this information once more because the FIRB provides some advise on the subject.

In addition to all of the other expenses typically associated with purchasing a home, a Foreign Citizen Stamp Duty is an additional cost that must be covered. In the state of New South Wales, for instance, this specific stamp duty is an additional 8% surcharge that is applied on top of your regular stamp duty (also called transfer duty).

Be sure to check how much stamp duty each state requires, as the amount varies from state to state.

With a few exceptions, the steps involved in purchasing a property and applying for a mortgage loan are essentially the same as they would be if you were a resident of the area.

Also read:

Beginners guide before investing in real estate in Sydney

Can those who are only there temporarily purchase property?

You will still be required to obtain clearance from the FIRB even if you are currently in possession of a temporary visa, such as a student visa, a temporary skills shortage visa, a temporary partnership visa, or a temporary work visa. When it comes to purchasing property, you are still considered a foreigner, and as such, you are required to adhere to the same conditions as outlined in the previous section.

The only time you won’t require approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board to buy a residence is if you are in a joint tenant agreement with an Australian that you are married to or in a de facto relationship with.

If you are a temporary resident from New Zealand, you do not need to be concerned about having to comply with the numerous additional regulations that are imposed on other foreigners.

If you are a citizen of New Zealand and want to buy a home in Australia while you are outside of the country, you might be required to pay the foreign citizen stamp duty tax. However, if you are an Australian citizen and want to buy a home in New Zealand, you are usually given the same rights as Australian home buyers.