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Can Foreigners Buy Melbourne Properties in Australia?

Updated: May 17

What properties can a foreigner buy in Melbourne

We've been asked if foreigners can buy Australian properties. The quick answer is yes. Australia is one of the few countries that welcome foreign property investors. According to a research by Australian Bank, ANZ, foreigners buy up to 25% of new properties in Australia.

However, as a foreign resident investing in Melbourne and Australia, the types of property you can buy is dependant on your residency status. By default, you are considered a foreigner or non-resident or a temporary resident, if you do not hold either a permanent Skilled Migrant or permanent Business Migrant visa.

Here is a quick guide of what a foreigner can buy in Melbourne, based on their residency status.

Temporary Residents

Temporary residents will normally be allowed to purchase only one established dwelling to live in as their residence (home) in Australia. They are, however, subject to the conditions that they:

  • Use the property as their principal place of residence in Australia;

  • Do not rent any part of the property, included ensuring that the property is vacant at settlement; and

  • Sell the property within three months from when it ceases to be their principal place of residence.

Temporary residents are not permitted to purchase established dwellings as investment properties, or rent out, or as holiday homes.

Non-Resident Foreigner

FIRB Application Fees

Your property purchase must be reviewed by the Australian Tax Office (ATO). You can do that via an Foreign Investor Review application to the ATO. You will also need to pay an application fee when you submit the application, as per the table below:

From 29 July 2022 to 30 June 2023

Property ​Purchase Price

Fee Payable

Less than $75,000


$1 million or less


$2 million or less


$3 million or less


$4 million or less


$5 million or less


Over $5 million

Refer to FIRB

From 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024

Property ​Purchase Price

Fee Payable

Less than $75,000


$1 million or less


$2 million or less


$3 million or less


$4 million or less


$5 million or less


Over $5 million

Refer to FIRB

Note: the FIRB fee is now indexed to inflation and will be updated annually. Refer to the FIRB website for the latest FIRB application fee.


What Do you need to know before investing in Australian Properties?

Investing in Australian properties can be a lucrative venture, but like any investment, it requires thorough due diligence. Here are some key considerations to be aware of:

  1. Investment Grade Quality. Not all properties marketed to foreigners are investment grade. Many of these properties are mass-produced on a budget and targeted at foreign buyers who may never see or stay in them. It's essential to identify properties that offer true investment potential rather than just appealing marketing.

  2. Understanding the Property Market. The real estate market in Australia is vast and varied, with numerous sub-markets, each with its own economic, cost, and supply/demand dynamics. It's vital to go beyond the glossy marketing brochures and understand the actual, up-to-date property market conditions. Different areas can exhibit multiple market dynamics, and sales agents may highlight the most favorable scenarios, which might not apply to the specific property you are considering.

  3. Tax Requirements. Investing in Australian property comes with tax obligations. Rental income must be declared on an Australian tax return, and you will be liable for Capital Gains Tax on any profit made from selling the property. Understanding these tax requirements is crucial to ensure compliance and optimize your investment returns.

  4. Understanding Changing Investment Regulations. The foreign investment regulations are consistently being tweaked and updated to attract foreign investment, without affecting local housing supply and demand. As a foreign investor, you need to understand the impact of these changes, in order to buy the right property or you may risk wasting your funds and time on the wrong properties.

  5. Challenges of Remote Investment. Investing from overseas presents unique challenges, primarily the inability to inspect the property or monitor its progress firsthand. Engaging local, independent, and trusted professionals to visit and inspect the property is essential to keep tabs on the development and ensure everything is proceeding as planned.

By keeping these factors in mind and seeking the right advice, you can navigate the complexities of investing in Australian properties and make informed, confident decisions.

​How can Buyers Advocates Help Foreign Buyers Buy Australian Properties Confidently?

Consider Using Melbourne Buyers Advocates When buying Melbourne Properties

At Concierge Buyers Advocates, our property investment advisors and buyers agents have been assisting foreign buyers in sourcing and purchasing quality investment properties for over eight years. If you're a non-resident planning to invest in Melbourne properties, we're here to help. We enable property buyers and investors to navigate the Melbourne property market, outsmart local buyers, and see through sales and marketing fluff.

With our Complete Buying Services, we:

  • Identify and recommend investment-grade properties suitable for foreign buyers. No more guessing if you can buy the property you fancy.

  • Organize inspections and manage all necessary legal approvals and conveyancing to ensure your property is built properly and legally registered in your name.

  • Source and interview leasing agents and property managers to ensure your investment property is managed by top professionals in the area.

If you're interested in investing in Melbourne and Australian properties with the expertise of a local and without the stress of overseeing the purchase from afar, talk to us. Let our Buyers Advocates ensure you have a smooth purchasing experience and enjoy the fruits of your investment confidently.

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