International Buyers

We’re here to assist international buyers as well as local, with online property searches making this so much more feasible. There are a number of regulations governing the sale of Australian property to non-residents, as fully outlined by the Foreign Investment Review Board. We suggest reading these carefully to ascertain what type of property foreign buyers are legally allowed to purchase. Alternatively, speak to one of our informed consultants, all of whom are fully versed in the intricacies of foreign property investment.

  • A foreign investor is defined as either:
  • Foreign investments in Australian real estate can take various forms.
  • Development of vacant land
  • Residential real estate
  • Other situations where approval is normally granted include:
  • Commercial real estate

A foreign investor is defined as either:

a) a person without permanent Australian residency status;
b) a corporation, business or trust in which a foreigner has 15% or more ownership;
c) a group of foreign nationals with 40% or more aggregate ownership.

Foreign investments in Australian real estate can take various forms.

These include:
a) The acquisition of developed commercial real estate with a value of AUD$5million or more;
b) The acquisition of urban real estate – irrespective of size;
c) The acquisition of urban real estate – irrespective of size, unless exempt under regulations.

Development of vacant land
Foreign interests are usually given approval to buy residential building sites on condition that construction of a dwelling is to commence within 12 months.Approval will also usually be granted to buy home units and townhouses off the plan, under construction or newly constructed (but never occupied) dwellings, on the proviso that no more than half of the units in any one development are sold to foreign interests.

Residential real estate
In the case of Australian citizens living abroad who are holders of permanent visas or are entitled to hold a ‘special category’ visa, proposed acquisitions of residential real estate are exempt from examination.

Other situations where approval is normally granted include:

a) Foreign companies buying residences in Australia for their senior executives;
b) Foreign nationals temporarily (but for more than 12 months) residing in Australia, buying for their own use as a principal residence. This is subject to the sale of the property when they cease to live in Australia;
c) Foreign nationals acquiring residential real estate as joint tenants with an Australian citizen as spouse.

Commercial real estate
Proposed acquisition of commercial property is normally approved unless it is contrary to the national interest.This will be determined by the Government on a case by case basis. For further information, click here to view the Foreign Investment Review Board web site.