This article is aimed at those of you planning a move to Australia for the first time.
UPDATE: this article was first published March 11, 2016 however significant changes to mortgage policies in Australia has affected availability of mortgages for non-Australian applicants.
A question I am often asked is, Can I get a mortgage when I arrive in Australia to buy property?
The answer to this question is naturally linked to your employment situation or your current business situation.
Typically, Australian lenders want to see you have been employed in Australia (when you arrive and start a job) for at least 12 months. They will consider your previous employment immediately prior to your Australian experience, how long you were in each previous role prior to relocating, and whether you have been working in the same or similar industry and type of role previously. Where there is consistency amongst all these roles, and without considerable breaks in employment, your chances of being approved will be highest.
Working in Australia for less than 12 months, and/or having changed careers or had breaks in your employment, will make accessing a mortgage more difficult.
For new business owners, banks want to see 2 years of operating that business in Australia in order to include the net business income in calculations of your family’s ability to qualify for a new home loan. It won’t necessarily be enough if your business started in another country and continued in Australia – if you have only landed in Australia for a short time before applying for a loan.
Apply before you fly. *See update below.
In some cases, it may be advisable to consider applying for your mortgage in Australia through an accredited broker, before you leave your current employment or business situation.
It pays to plan for a future mortgage in Australia ahead of time. If you can show current ongoing employment for at least 2 years in a foreign country, then before you consider leaving that employment or business behind you, when you follow your dream to Australia, consider how you may be able to find a property and apply from out-of-country.
Australian lenders will lend to foreign-based borrowers, to buy property in Australia. Typically you are buying an investment property, and you will be able to let the property (or rent it out) to help with mortgage repayments.
UPDATE August 2017: Most Australian lenders have currently suspended lending to applicants with non-Australian currency income.
What you do with the property later, once you have the property for a period of time – is entirely your choice. (You may let it out, move in later yourself, or even sell it, etc). As long as you maintain repayments on your mortgage and keep it in order, you won’t have any difficulties with your Australian lender.
Please note this article does not consider your Australian visa requirements, if you currently have no legal right to stay in Australia. Buying property from abroad does not require a visa, however you are restricted to buying only newly-built property or property about to be constructed. These are the laws laid down by Australia’s government and you can read more at the Foreign Investment Review Board’s website, www.firb.gov.au
Contact us for more detailed information if this situation applies to you.
Aussie F&P Group