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Can International Students Buy a House in Australia?

July 9, 2024
Student Home Loans

Key takeaways:

  • International students with valid student visas can buy property in Australia, including residential and rental properties
  • Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval is required for international students to purchase property
  • Financing options include home loans with strict lending standards, and costs like stamp duty and living expenses must be considered
  • Melbourne and Sydney are popular cities for international students due to their vibrant culture, education quality, and employment opportunities

International students in Australia do face some challenges when travelling for studies in other countries. One of the challenges is finding a home for yourself, and fortunately, international students can live off campus. They can rent, for one, but can international students buy a house in Australia?

Yes, you can. But the kind of purchasing process you will undergo depends on whether it is a residential or investment property.

Some factors may make the entire process easier or harder. This blog post will explore whether international students can buy property in Australia, the requirements for doing so, and the pros of buying a house as a university student.

Eligibility of international students to buy property in Australia

Most people only know about renting in Australia as a student. But as a student in Australia, you can purchase property in Australia even without being an Australian citizen. If you have a valid visa, it will grant you some kind of eligibility to purchase a house in Australia.

Here’s the deal, though: as a student, you can’t just up and buy a property. But there are a few visas out there that allow for property ownership. The most common ones flexing these property perks are the Skilled Recognised Graduate Visa and the Skilled Graduate Visa.

These visas give students the green light to live and work in Australia for a solid 18-month stretch after wrapping up their studies. During this time, they can pump up their property portfolio with some Aussie real estate.

The role of the foreign investment review board

The FIRB is the heavy hitter calling the shots on foreign investment in the Australian property game. It’s all about making sure that every international dollar dropped on Australian real estate works out in Australia’s favour.

Each applicant for foreign investment in Australian property gets a one-on-one session with the FIRB. If the FIRB gives the green light, then overseas buyers can own property.

Types of property international students can purchase in Australia

can international students buy house in australia

In Australia, international students can flex their financial muscles and scoop up both residential and rental properties. Residential spots, like apartments or houses, are your go-to living spaces. Students are always on the lookout for the cheapest student accommodation in Brisbane or whichever city they’re living in, so it can be a handy investment.

On the other hand, rental properties are all about racking up some income. Even better, students can get the green light to buy up vacant residential land in Australia.

In Australia, international students can flex their financial muscles and scoop up both residential and rental properties. Residential spots, like apartments or houses, are your go-to living spaces. Students are always on the lookout for the cheapest student accommodation in Brisbane or whichever city they’re living in, so it can be a handy investment.

On the other hand, rental properties are all about racking up some income. Even better, international students in Australia can get the green light to buy up vacant land in Australia.

Requirements to purchase property in Australia

Purchasing property in Australia does come with a bit of stress for international students. There are certain boxes you have to check. The big one is having a student visa that gives you the all-clear to buy property.

If you’re an international student with a temporary resident visa, you’re in the clear to buy property. Just remember, you’ve got to hit up the FIRB for approval first.

Financing the purchase of property in Australia

International students can apply for home loans to buy property in Australia. Foreign investors, notably overseas buyers, face extremely stringent lending standards. International students must have a good credit history.

They should have the means to prove that they can manage the student home loan instalments.

Additional costs associated with purchasing property in Australia

Can International Students Buy a House in Australia?

There are more costs associated with buying property in Australia than the purchase price. Stamp duty is one such expense. Stamp duty is a tax levied on the transfer of ownership of a property. The value of the property determines the amount of stamp duty payable.

On top of that, there are the costs of living in Australia. The living expenses involved with owning property in Australia are additional expenses that foreign students should know about.

This includes utilities, council fees, and maintenance. When thinking about buying property in Australia, students from abroad should fit these prices into their budget.

How to Own a House in Australia as a Student

The Australian property market views international students as a risk. Hence, some find it difficult to own a home in Australia.

One of the most effective ways for international students to increase their odds of approval is to have relatives who are ready to act as guarantors on the loan or cover a portion of the debt themselves.

The relatives must seek Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval. It usually takes two weeks to complete the whole process. Once they get FIRB approval, they can apply for a mortgage.

But that’s not all. Foreign property investments are restricted to new houses instead of existing ones. Even if you can manage the loan without the support of your parents or relatives, you would still require FIRB authorisation since you’re a non-resident.

Can international students buy house in Australia: FAQs

Do I get PR if I buy property in Australia?

No, buying property in Australia doesn’t mean you get PR. However, owning real estate can boost your application for permanent residency.

What are the requirements for international students to get a home loan in Australia?

  • A valid student visa
  • Meet the lending criteria of the AFI
  • Provide proof of income and employment
  • A good credit history

Students will also need a foreign tax identifying number which they can acquire from the ATO.

What are some of the attractive cities for international students?

Knowing the best city in Australia for international students is a big plus. Cities like Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, and Perth are flexing big time as hot spots for international students. But hold up; while these places can be killer to live in, don’t forget to check out the cost of living. Each city is throwing its own unique punches, so it’s crucial to do your homework and get those facts straight before you choose your new home base.

Why Sydney for international students?

Some might ask why Sydney for international students, and the answer is why not?! International students have access to financial aid and scholarships as well as plentiful employment prospects in Sydney. On top of that, it’s a vibrant, dynamic city!

Living in Sydney as a student puts you at the forefront of academics, culture and adventure!

Why Melbourne for international students?

Why Melbourne for international students? The city is a popular choice for international students due to several compelling reasons.

  1. World-Class Education: Melbourne is home to prestigious universities and educational institutions known for their high academic standards and diverse range of programs.
  2. Cultural Diversity: Melbourne embraces cultural diversity and is renowned for its multicultural atmosphere. With a vibrant and inclusive community, international students can experience a rich tapestry of cultures, languages, and traditions.
  3. Thriving Arts and Culture Scene: Melbourne is often referred to as the cultural capital of Australia. It is renowned for its vibrant arts, music, theater, and fashion scenes.
  4. Quality of Life: Melbourne consistently ranks highly in global liveability indexes, reflecting its high quality of life.

Is it simple for an international student to get work in Australia?

Just like the question, “Can International students buy house in Australia?”, getting some work while studying in Australia is a pretty straight shot.

But the grind gets real once you’ve tossed that graduation cap. Remember, as an international student, you’re not supposed to bankroll your life with your study-time earnings, but that extra income can help keep your finances stable.

Conclusion

In conclusion, international students can indeed purchase property in Australia, provided they meet the necessary requirements and obtain the required approvals. The process involves understanding the eligibility criteria, securing the right visa, and being prepared for the additional costs associated with homeownership.

By doing thorough research and seeking professional advice, international students can navigate the Australian property market and potentially benefit from owning residential real estate in one of the world’s most dynamic countries.

Soho
Soho is your expert team in Australian real estate, offering an innovative platform for effortless property searches. With deep insights into buying, renting, and market trends, we guide you to make informed decisions, whether it's your first home or exploring new suburbs.
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