How To Get A Non-Resident Home Loan In Australia (Foreign National)
Australia is known for having some of the most liveable cities in the world – like Melbourne and Sydney – and given its diverse landscapes, friendly locals and a long list of amazing ‘bucket list’ experiences, it has been one of the ‘must-go’ places for travellers.
Australian property is often lauded by investors for its ability to maintain steady rental yield while achieving positive capital growth so it is not surprising to see the rise of foreigners buying property in Australia.
If you are interested in investing in the Australian residential property market as a non-resident, there are a few things you need to know.
Without further ado, let’s get to the nuts and bolts of getting a non-resident mortgage in Australia.
Who are the foreign residents buying property in Australia?
An offset account is linked to a home loan and works like any transaction account that you use to deposit and withdraw money on a day to day basis.
Non-residents can be categorised into two groups.
- Temporary residents (TRs)
Temporary residents are those who visit the country on a temporary visa, allowing them to stay beyond 12 months. They can apply for a home loan for temporary residents of Australia with the approval of FIRB and adherence to specific requirements.
Overseas foreign citizens are people who do not have an Australian citizenship and are considered foreign investors. These individuals usually have to go through the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) for approval before taking out a non-resident home loan in Australia.
Get a free Australian mortgage assessment today.
What is a non-resident home loan in Australia?
According to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), if you are a foreigner or a non-resident in Australia, you can be considered a foreign resident buying property in Australia so long as you clearly understand the property market. You must also adhere to the rules set by the review board in its application process.
A non-resident home loan is possible for foreigners buying property in Australia. There are lenders, banks, financial institutions, and credit groups, among others, who may be able to provide you with loanable funds which you can use to acquire property, albeit at a much stricter mortgage approval criteria compared to citizens and permanent residents.
Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval as a foreigner buying property in Australia
Legally speaking, non-residents can be property owners in Australia if they seek and gain the approval of the FIRB. The first step should therefore be checking your eligibility as a foreign resident buying property in Australia through the FIRB website.
When your purchase offer progresses, and you have a specific property in mind, the FIRB must also be sought for another approval on that particular piece of land. There are fees involved in the evaluation, but FIRB will, most likely, grant your request, especially if your purchase will be in support of more significant economic growth in that precise location.
Getting FIRB endorsement as a foreigner buying property in Australia usually takes about fourteen days. The fees can change upon the estimation of the private property or land sought to be bought. If you belong to the groups listed below, you do not required FIRB endorsement
- The Australian residents
- The perpetual Australian inhabitants
- New Zealand (NZ) residents
- Other exempted categories
Investing as a foreigner buying property in Australia
If you are a non-resident and have been considering investing in real estate, you’d be happy to know that there are non-resident home loans in Australia which are readily available for you. Nothing stops you from buying properties in the country as long as you fulfill all the necessary requirements.
As a non-resident, there is always the concern about being assessed differently from residents of Australia for an Australian non-resident mortgage. It may come in the form of higher fees or increased interest rates in your non-resident Australian home loan. As such, you must be prepared to accept these realities and consider if it is something that you can bear, weighing the costs and the benefits of investing in Australian real estate. If you earn an overseas income, our advisors can recommend suitable non-resident home loans in Australia for your consideration.
Most lenders have non-resident home mortgage packages that are quite attractive and include a unique hybrid offering or tailored-fit deal for foreigners buying property in Australia considering their exceptional circumstances, needs and preferences. It would be wise to scrutinise every feature of your non-resident mortgage in Australia to ensure you are getting the best offer available.
Some costs that you must be prepared for are fees on the property inspection, foreign citizen Stamp Duty, FIRB approval, loan establishment and legal processing. It may accumulate as you progress with your purchase, so it is always good to draw up your budget before applying for a non-resident home loan or home loans for temporary residents in Australia.
How to choose between lenders for a non-resident mortgage in Australia
Non-resident home loan options in Australia may be limited, so the best thing to do is speak to one of our non-resident Australian mortgage experts to find the best solution for you. Some lenders specialise in lending to foreign investors, Australian expats, and new migrants.
Policies on non-resident home loans in Australia differ from bank to bank. The bank can outrightly decline since the nature of the circumstances of non-residents poses a high risk to their institution. Some banks do not accommodate clients outside of Australia.
Banks may choose to lend to non-residents but with certain restrictions. It can be in the loanable amount or in the documentary requirements to support your application. Learn more about the best mortgage rates here.
- Non-bank lenders
You can also choose to deal with other non-bank lenders licensed to provide non-resident Australian home loans to consumers. Like banks, these institutions will evaluate your application and guide you through the entire process until settlement.
Non-bank lenders are a common solution for non-resident foreigners buying property in Australia as they are usually targeting this particular niche of the market so you will know your eligibility pretty quickly.
The process is also made seamless and hassle-free and they make sure the loan package is truly tailored to fit your unique needs. As a non-bank niche lender, they can give you what banks and other financial institutions cannot.
Loanable and Deposit Amount
The amount of deposit required differs depending on the non-resident category you belong to and the products of the lenders. Typically, overseas foreign citizens can expect to borrow between 60% to 80% of the purchase price of the property as a foreign resident buying property in Australia.
Fees on the property inspection, foreign citizen stamp duty, FIRB approval, loan establishment and legal processing fees are usually not able to be lent against and further funds will need to be sought.
Thanks to the ever-evolving credit market, interest rates offered via non-resident home loans have come closer to the ones given to residents, although there is still a slight premium for foreigners buying property in Australia. Non-bank lenders do, however have a number of “risk fees” or “application fees” to compensate them for the additional risk they take by providing non-resident mortgage loans in Australia.
Final thoughts about foreigners buying property in Australia and applying for non-resident home loans
Although the current lending environment is harsh for non-resident foreign nationals, securing non-resident home loans in Australia can still be possible if you know where to look. Speak to an Odin Mortgage non-resident expert today to see what non-resident mortgage options in Australia are available to you, or read our beginners guide here.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get FIRB approval as a foreigner buying property in Australia?
To get FIRB approval as a foreigner buying property in Australia, you must first check your eligibility on the government’s website, and submit an online application through the ATO. If you are eligible, the next step is to seek their approval for the specific piece of land you are interested in. It typically takes around 14 days to receive approval. If you’re considering purchasing a home, simply take 5 minutes to complete our online mortgage assessment and get you your pre-approval letter in no time!
How much will foreign buyers need to pay for Stamp Duty?
Stamp duty varies depending on the state or territory you’re buying in, but most foreign buyers can expect to pay an additional 8% surcharge on the value of the property, on top of the standard Stamp Duty. However, there’s currently no Foreign Buyers Stamp Duty Surcharge in the Northern Territory and the ACT. For an in-depth look at Stamp Duty in Australia, be sure to check out our definitive guide.