Common questions about investing in Australian properties
With its growing property market and stable economy, Australia has always been one of the top choices for Singaporean property investors.
Are you considering buying a house in Australia? These are some questions you might have about purchasing in Australia as a Singaporean investor.
Do I need FIRB approval?
Yes, all temporary residents and non residents need to apply for FIRB approval to purchase any property in Australia. The FIRB (Foreign Investment Review Board) is an Australian governmental body which reviews any purchase application from foreign nationals.
Getting FIRB approval is a simple process and can take at least two weeks. This can be done from the official FIRB website.
What kind of properties can I buy?
Temporary residents can purchase only one house and it must be for living purposes which must be sold on departure from Australia. You are also allowed to buy investment properties so long as they are newly built or it is a vacant land on which you are planning to construct.
Non residents have the same restrictions however they are not allowed to purchase a house to live in (since they do not have a visa). The exception to this rule is that they have the option to purchase a house for their children to live in (usually if their children are studying in Australia).
How can I find a suitable property?
There are many websites that deal with Australian real estate that you can visit to find a suitable property.
Another option is to hire a buyer’s agent whose main job is to find and negotiate a deal for you. These agents will usually have to be from the same state that you wish to buy in.
The last option is to visit Australia yourself and visit different properties to look for what you want.
Does my visa type matter?
If you are moving to Australia on a temporary visa, the type of the visa can affect your purchase if you are taking out a home loan. This will usually affect the loan amount as well as how risky the banks will consider you.
You would also need to have been approved for your visa before applying. Otherwise the banks will have to use your current employment information and other details to process the loan.
Should I take a loan from a Singaporean bank or an Australian bank?
If you are taking a loan to purchase property in Australia, then the matter of which bank can play a big role.
This is because Singaporean banks usually allow you to borrow only 50 to 60% of the property value while Australian banks will lend you up to 80%.
Although sellers will not mind about the location of the bank, taking a loan from an Australian bank can also protect you from exchange rate fluctuations since both your loan amount and property value will be in Australian dollars.
If you do apply with an Australian bank, you should pick one that caters to foreign investors and does not require you to have a credit history in Australia.
Does my credit history matter?
No, your current credit history does not matter since banks here will consider you as having no credit history.
Will I have a problem with my documents?
If your documents are written in English then they will likely be accepted in Australia. If you are applying for a home loan, Australian banks will accept Singaporean Notices of Assessments, tax returns and payslips (documents needed for proof of income).
Home Loan Experts are an award winning mortgage broking company from Australia that specialises in non resident mortgages and has a strong history of working with Singaporean clients.