Updated: Oct 12
Can a foreigner own a property in Australia?
This is one of the most frequently asked question. Short answer is yes. But there are some limitations.
Melbourne is a pro-property investment state. Not only does it have one of the lowest property investment taxes, fees and stamp duties, the property investment rules are generally more investor-friendly than any other states and territories in Australia.
There are, however, some restrictions on the types of properties a non-resident can buy in Melbourne. More information on what these restrictions are in our Foreign Property Investor page..
A non-resident buying properties in Australia is subject to approvals from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). And approved non-resident buyers buying properties in Victoria, might also be subjected to additional stamp duties on their share of the property being acquired.
When do additional stamp duties apply?
Additional stamp duties apply to any arrangement or transaction involving the transfer of an interest in residential property to a foreign purchaser, including:
Buying a residential property at, for example, auction or by private sale.
Buying a non-residential property with the intention of converting it to residential property.
Being given a residential property as a gift.
Certain leasing arrangements in respect of residential property.
Additional Stamp Duties in Victoria
For contracts, transactions, agreements and arrangements entered into on or after:
1 July 2015 but before 1 July 2016 (even if the settlement date is on or after 1 July 2016), the additional duty rate is 3 per cent.
1 July 2016, the additional duty rate is 7 per cent.
1 July 2019, the additional duty rate is 8 per cent.
More information can be found on the Victoria State Revenue Office website