Here are the mortgages offered by Australian lenders for Australian expats living in Switzerland.
Australian expats buying property in Australia from Switzerland
What home loan options are available for you as Australian expats in Switzerland? Find out below.
Swiss Franc (CHF)
Variable, Fixed, or Interest-Only
An Australian expat buying property in Australia can qualify for the same home loan features and types as typical Australian residents. They can qualify for various loan types, including variable, fixed, and interest-only home loans. You can get a loan to either purchase, invest or refinance a property.
Please keep in mind that some lenders may accept your application if you meet their special expat criteria but offer higher interest rates or have a higher deposit requirement.
Loan Size and Term
Australian expats and PR visa holders living in Switzerland may qualify for up to 90% loan-to-value ratio. This is because you are still considered an Australian citizen regardless of where you live.
This also means that the same features and limitations apply to Australian expats as to regular Australian residents.
Home Loan Package: Offsets, Redraw & Line of Credit
Australian expats in Switzerland can get competitive interest rates on their expat mortgages. They can also access the same mortgage features as any Australian citizen, including:
- 100% Offset accounts
- Extra repayments
- Redraw facility
- Line of credit and more
How Do Lenders View the Swiss Franc?
It's not surprising that Australian lenders accept Swiss Franc (CHF) for home-buying purposes since Switzerland is currently ranked as the wealthiest country in the world. This means you may have a good chance of qualifying for a mortgage in Australia if you earn CHF.
Aussie lenders also accept Great British Pounds (GBP), Euros, United States dollars (USD), and even Japanese Yen (YPY), which are currencies that Australians working for multinational corporations are earning in.
Pros and cons of Australian expat home loans
There are various advantages and challenges for Aussie expats in Switzerland looking to apply for a home loan in Australia, which include the following:
Australian expats living overseas are still considered as Australian citizens by lenders, so they can access the same features and benefits as any typical Oz resident.
Your borrowing power may be limited, or worse, you may not qualify for a home loan in Australia if you cannot provide sufficient documents to prove your foreign income.
Most Australian lenders readily accept CHF for home loan purposes in Australia.
Australians in Switzerland may require an Australian Power of Attorney (POA) to qualify for an Australian home loan.
You can find lenders who allow self-employed Australian expats in Switzerland to borrow up to 80% loan to value ratio.
Dual citizenship holders and Australians married to a foreign spouse may find themselves with significantly lower borrowing capacity and features as Australian lenders may treat them as foreigners.
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Features for Australian expat mortgages in Switzerland
The primary home loan features that an Australian expat living in Switzerland can expect are as follows:
Aussie expats can usually get away with a deposit size as low as 5%. However, it is better to save a deposit of around 20-30% in order to avoid LMI.
Australian lenders allow Australian expats living in Switzerland to borrow up to 90% of the property value, given that you can provide sufficient financial documents to prove your income.
Australian expats in Switzerland can make flexible repayments, i.e. monthly, fortnightly, or weekly. Also, as Australian citizens, Australian expats are exempt from paying penalties for repaying their mortgage early.
Australians in Switzerland can qualify for the same interest rates as regular Australian citizens in Australia.
Key Facts about Australian expats in Switzerland
How to apply for Australian expat home loans if I live in Switzerland
Australians expats need to meet the following requirements when applying for Australian expat home loans in Switzerland:
To be eligible for an expat mortgage, you will need:
- A good credit score or history of making repayments on time.
- Australian citizenship to prove that you’re an Australian expat.
- 20 – 30% deposit if you’re a Swiss national.
- Over 18 years of age.
- Some lenders require an Australian Power of Attorney.
- Two forms of income verification including recent payslips, an employment letter, or tax returns.
- Form of identification including a passport, driver’s licence, or birth certificate.
- Details of your expenses, such as other credit liabilities and living costs.
- Details of your prospective property purchase (if you’ve located a property)
Double Tax Agreement
Australia and Switzerland have a double taxation agreement in place that prevents double taxation on your income. In simple terms, the treaty protects Aussie expats from paying tax twice, i.e. in both Australia and Switzerland.
Australian citizens do not need FIRB approval when applying for a mortgage in Australia. This is the same for Aussie expats since they are still technically Aussie citizens living overseas.
Stamp Duty Surcharge
Australian expats in Switzerland do not need to pay foreign stamp duty. But you need to pay the same stamp duty rate as an Australian citizen living in Australia, based on the state you’re buying property in.
Apply for an Australian Expat Home Loan from Switzerland today!
Without an expat mortgage broker, Australian home loans can get complicated making it difficult for Australian expats in Switzerland to get a home loan in Australia. Speak with our specialist expat mortgage broker at Odin Mortgage to find best expat mortgages that suit your needs and maximise your borrowing capacity as an Aussie expat.
We also provide expat mortgage services in the following countries
Australian expat home loans FAQs
Is an Australian home loan different from a home loan in Switzerland?
Yes, applying for a home loan in Australia is different from Switzerland.
The most noticeable difference is, perhaps, the interest rates and house prices in both countries. Australian interest rates and property prices are much higher than that of Switzerland which can make mortgages quite complicated in Australia.
However, even with challenging circumstances, home loans for Australian expats in Switzerland can be quite flexible if you’re applying with the right lender.
Can I avoid foreigner stamp duty in Australia?
Australian expats living in Switzerland, like any Australian citizen, do not need to pay stamp duty and land tax surcharges that apply to almost all states across Australia.
However, if you’re buying the property with a foreign spouse or partner, you can still be hit with the foreign stamp duty surcharge. To avoid paying thousands on stamp duty, you can simply opt to have just your name on the property title.
What are the costs that I need to be aware of while buying property in Australia?
There are certain additional expenses that Aussie expat borrowers need to be aware of before applying for a mortgage in Australia. These costs can include:
- Legal fees
- Loan establishment fees
- Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI)
- Property inspection fees
- Foreign stamp duty surcharge if you are buying with a foreign partner
Other expenses may include costs for an attorney, solicitor or buyers’ agent, if you decide to hire one.
How will Aussie lenders assess my debt in Switzerland?
Australian lenders typically evaluate overseas debt using the interest rates in Australia, which are generally higher than those in Switzerland.
A handful of lenders may take into account the rent you’re paying in Switzerland when calculating your overall debt. To show your ability to manage your current debts and increase your likelihood of being approved for a mortgage, it is advisable to submit rental statements as evidence to your lender.