Purchase Properties in Sydney from OverseasFor more information & recent changes please visit firb.gov.au

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Foreign persons need to apply and receive foreign investment approval before purchasing new dwellings and vacant residential land for development. Non-resident foreign persons are generally prohibited from purchasing established dwellings in Australia.

foreign persons generally need to apply for foreign investment approval from Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) before purchasing residential real estate in Australia.

New place of residence and vacant land
Foreign persons need to apply and receive foreign investment approval before purchasing new dwellings and vacant residential land for development. Applications to purchase vacant land are normally approved subject to construction being completed within four years. Once new dwellings are built or purchased, they may be rented out, sold, or retained for the foreign investor’s own use.
Land that has previously had an established dwelling on it would generally not be treated as vacant land for the purposes of Australia’s foreign investment framework.

Non-resident foreign persons are generally prohibited from purchasing established dwellings in Australia

An established dwelling is a dwelling (except commercial residential premises such as hotels, motels and caravan parks) on residential land that is not a new dwelling.

Temporary residents are not permitted to purchase established dwellings as investment properties, or rent out, or as holiday homes.

Foreign controlled companies are generally prohibited from purchasing established dwellings

Residential Real Estate Exemptions for Foreign Persons & Companies

Temporary residents will normally be allowed to purchase only one established dwelling to live in as their residence (home) in Australia, subject to the conditions that they:

  • Use the property as their principal place of residence in Australia;
  • Do not rent any part of the property, included ensuring that the property is vacant at settlement; and
  • Sell the property within three months from when it ceases to be their principal place of residence.

foreign companies with a substantial Australian business may be permitted to acquire established dwellings for the purpose of providing housing for their Australian based staff.

Spouses of Australian citizens, New Zealand citizens and holders of Australian permanent visas do not require foreign investment approval when purchasing residential real estate as joint tenants.

For more information please visit firb website (Foreign Investment review Board)

Good to Know

Persons that meet certain criteria do not need foreign investment approval before purchasing residential real estate in Australia. This includes:

  • an Australian citizen;
  • a New Zealand citizen;
  • the holder of an Australian permanent resident visa;
  • an individual purchasing property as joint tenants with their Australian citizen spouse, New Zealand citizen spouse, or
  • Australian permanent resident spouse;
Penalties apply for foreign person acquires new property without approval
  • Maximum criminal penalty of
    Individual — 750 penalty units ($157,500) and/or 3 years imprisonment.
    Company — 3,750 penalty units ($787,500