Buying Property in Australia Whilst Located Overseas


You might have wondered if you are able to buy property in Australia if you are overseas. You could be interested in permanently moving to Australia from overseas, or potentially be stuck overseas due to covid restrictions or lockdowns where you’re visiting and need to purchase whilst you’re away.

There are many different scenarios to consider, however there are ways you can get yourself that piece of land or property purchase even if you’re not currently in Australia.

With the help of electronic conveyancing, the entire conveyancing procedure can be easily completed online. Working alongside a well-established electronic conveyancing system and highly experienced Property Lawyer like TY Lawyers in Chatswood, we are here to assist you to ensure a smooth property transaction. TY Lawyers will assist you with all property purchase matters, taking care of the many legal documents, checks, inspections of the property, and lodgements to avoid mistakes that can lead to costly expenses, fines, or legal complications. Their team of lawyers will be with you every step of the journey.

There are generally a couple of categories of buyers:

  • Permanent Australian residents who are living overseas and are looking to buy an investment property or home to back to
  • Permanent Australian residents who are travelling overseas and are looking to buy whilst overseas
  • Non-citizens, non-residents or temporary residents who are currently living in Australia, who would like to buy a property
  • Non-residents not living in Australia who would like to buy a property in Australia

The Australian Government recognizes the importance of foreign investment and encourages offshore investment, in line with the Australian Foreign Investment Policy.

A reputable and knowledgeable property and conveyancing lawyer can assist you to ensure you’ve completed all necessary checks and required paperwork.

Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents Living Overseas
Australian expats can purchase a property and apply for a mortgage just like a citizen who is residing in Australia.  

If you are hold a Permanent Resident Return Visa, but currently stuck overseas due to COVID, you may have to consider potential duty surcharge which may be applied to you. Speak to one of our Property Lawyers for a legal advice before entering a Contract of Sale of Land.

Australian Citizens Travelling, Looking to Buy Whilst Overseas
Similar to Australian citizens living overseas, Australians who are travelling can purchase property whilst not located in the country.

If You Are a Non-Resident Living Outside Australia

If you are a non-resident purchasing property in Australia from overseas, you are required to obtain approval to purchase from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) prior to purchasing a property. This is an Australian Government entity that regulates the sale of Australian property to overseas persons and corporations.

Non-resident buyers usually can only invest in new dwellings, off-the-plan properties under construction, or vacant land with a view to development within a time frame.

One important factor to note is that as a foreign investor, you do not need to set up a company in Australia or buy with a citizen in order to qualify for buying a property in Australia.

Please note that all non-residents must also account for Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax on Australian investment properties.

Non-Residents Living in Australia, Looking to Buy a Property
Temporary residents and foreign non-residents who live in Australia are also required to obtain approval to purchase from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). Non-residents or temporary residents can invest in brand-new properties or off-the-plan properties for investment purposes. However, they can only buy one established dwelling and the established property must be used as their primary residence. When the non-resident no long lives in Australia, the established property must be sold.

Each situation discussed is unique and individual, and as such, needs to be assessed prior to purchase.

The team at TY Lawyers in Chatswood are skilled legal professionals, covering all your needs when it comes to property transactions: property conveyancing, property developments, commercial and retail leases, preparation of contracts for the sale of land, contract review, property settlements, auction enquiries, assistance for first home buyers & the First Home Owners Grant and mortgages, refinancing & property deposit bonds.

Contact us today to discuss your personal situation and one of our experienced legal professionals will get back to you as soon as possible, call TY Lawyers Chatswood on: (02) 8007 0135.

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