Temporary residents face difficulty & expense when buying both new and established properties in Australia (FIRB)
On 1 July 2016 the laws were tightened by the Federal Government to make it difficult and very expensive for temporary residents to purchase real estate in Australia, even if intended as their principal place of residence.
These laws were no doubt in response to Australian citizens complaining about the difficulties in competing with wealthy foreigners when trying to buy Australian property.
If a temporary resident wants to purchase an Australian property they are now required to submit the application to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and pay the substantial fees (table below) before exchanging contracts on a purchase https://firb.gov.au/real-estate/established/
Temporary residents are individuals who hold a temporary visa (eg 457 visa) that permits them to remain in Australia for a continuous period of more than 12 months (regardless of how long remains on the visa); or is residing in Australia, has submitted an application for a permanent visa and holds a bridging visa which permits them to stay in Australia until that application has been finalised.
If the temporary resident has an offer accepted on a specific property and pays the FIRB fees, but is then gazumped or the vendor decides not to sell, the FIRB is under no obligation (and is unlikely) to refund the fees paid.
There are only 2 ways to lessen this risk :
1. Exchange contracts with a special condition to the contract stating “subject to FIRB approval”. In the current strong & competitive Sydney property market, it is very difficult to get this clause inserted into a contract for a private treaty sale as many competing buyers will be able to exchange contracts without any conditions. For an auction campaign it would be even less likely. Most vendors do not want complications and uncertainty in their property sale.
2. Obtain an Established Dwelling Exemption Certificate from the FIRB which allows you to purchase an unspecified property over a 6 month period. The fees are the same in the table below. If at the end of the 6 month period you have not purchased a property, you will then have to re-apply and pay a new full fee to the FIRB.
FIRB Application Fees
Purchase amount FIRB Fee
$0 to $1M $5,000
$1M to $1.99M $10,100
$2M to $2.99M $20,300
$3M to $3.99M $30,400
$4M to $4.99M $40,600
$5M to $5.99M $50,700
$6M to $6.99M $60,900
$7M to $7.99M $71,000
$8M to $8.99M $81,200
$9M to $9.99M $91,300
$10M oor above ATO will advise
Penalties for infringement can be a Criminal Penalty of up to $135,000 and/or a Civil Penalty of up to 10% of the acquisition amount https://firb.gov.au/resources/guidance/gn11/
In addition to the FIRB purchase fees, in NSW foreign buyers will also have to pay a Surcharge Purchase Duty of 4% of the property purchase price. This is in addition to the standard NSW stamp duty charges http://www.osr.nsw.gov.au/taxes/spd
Therefore unless the temporary resident is intending on staying in Australia for a long time, it is probably a cheaper and easier option to continue renting during their stay.
As buyers agents we regularly make an offer on a property on behalf of a client.
While you are not required to put your offer in writing, it’s usually best to do so. This is because it confirms to the vendor that your offer is serious and clearly sets out the terms.
Make an offer on a property in writing to the selling agent
You will need to include the following details:
- The details of the property
- Your offer amount
- Settlement period. This can be either what is stated on the contract (usually 42 days), or a preferred timing. You could also nominate a different period because you know it would be more appealing to the vendor.
- Include the offer expiry date and time so it will put pressure on the vendor.
- Is your offer is subject to any conditions? Do you need to finalise due diligence (building inspection, strata search etc). You should state this with your offer.
- State if the exchange of contracts is to include a cooling off period, or if the exchange is to be unconditional. If this is the case you will need a 66W certificate. In the case of a pre auction offer you will need to remove the cooling off period.
- Try to include reasons for your offer amount. Include comparable property sales results and any issues arising from your due diligence.
- When you make an offer on a property that is competitively sought after, it is advisable to keep the conditions of the offer as simple and uncomplicated as possible.
Minimise the conditions of your offer
An offer that includes a signed contract and deposit cheque is likely be be far more attractive. An offer without any special conditions or cooling off period is also likely to fare better than an offer with preconditions and delays. Sometimes vendors will accept a slightly reduced price for the certainty of an unconditional contract.
Be prepared to negotiate but keep your limits clearly in mind.
Do not delay if your offer is accepted!
If your offer is accepted, you should ensure that exchange occurs as quickly as possible. Maintain regular lines of communication through to exchange of contracts. This will help to minimise the risks of the property being sold to another buyer (gazumping).
Homesearch Solutions can assist you make an offer on a property. Please contact us for further details by emailing Henry or phoning 0409 105 015. We offer a Negotiation service as well as a range of other services for buyers including our Property Search Service, Property Appraisal Reports and Auction Bidding.
You can see our buyers agent fees here.
Mosman Buyers Agent since 1999
Homesearch Solutions is one of the most established and best respected Mosman Buyers Agents. We have bought hundreds of properties in the local Mosman and Lower North Shore area for homeowners and investors, including local, interstate and overseas buyers.
The main appeal of Mosman is the quality Federation & modern style housing and harbour surrounds. Other attractions include : Balmoral Beach, schools, parks and trees, shops, restaurants, amenities, ferry transport and the proximity to the city.
The suburb is home to almost 28,000 residents, and is primarily a residential suburb. Federation era houses predominate but there are also other styles including Californian Bungalows, modern houses & townhouses. Apartment buildings tend to be a mix of modern, art deco and 1970’s style complexes.
A recent census showed that just under half (48%) of residences were flats, units or apartments. Another 39% were separate houses, and 13% were semi-detached (mostly townhouses).
What type of property will you be able to buy there within your budget ?
Budget of $500,000- $650,000
Not much ! A small studio or 1 bedroom unit perhaps with a car space. Many sales in this price region are located on main roads like Military Road or Spit Road. Some examples of sales in this price range are below. Click the address to see more details.
2/17 Mitchell Road – $472,000 in May 17
Small unrenovated apartment with a car space on title. Large bedroom but very small combined kitchen, living and dining area. Just off Spit Road.
6/186 Spit Road – $590,000 in June 17
Updated one bedroom apartment with undercover parking and balcony. Main road location.
15/180 Raglan Street – $620,000 in June 17
Well maintained 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, balcony, small living area, renovated, in a 1970’s style block with stairs, no outlook
For around the $1m mark you will still be buying a unit, but it will be larger with usually 2 bedrooms & better located.
10/122 Raglan Street – $1,000,000 – May 2017
Two bedrooms plus a carport. updated with balcony and district views.
3/10 Cardinal Street – $1,035,000 – March 2017
Well presented garden apartment. 2 bedrooms and a lock up garage. Separate laundry. Location just off Spit Road.
1/75 Bradleys Head Road – $1,073,000 – April 2017
First floor apartment in small block of 13 with large balcony and parking. Updated with contemporary kitchen and updated bathroom.
At this level it’s mostly quality units that are renovated and possibly with views. It is possible to start looking at semi attached houses (semis), but those available will be on main or busy roads, and will most likely require renovation or updates.
89 Spit Road – $ 1,425,000 – March 2017
Well presented Federation 3 bedroom semi with 2 bathrooms on Spit Road. No parking.
24/1 Mosman Street – $1,495,000 – July 2017
Two bedroom apartment with lovely views over Mosman Bay. Renovated with terrace.
1/30 Park Avenue – $1,600,000 – June 2017
Beautifully renovated 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment but with no parking. Small block of six units. More like a semi.
At around $2m you can buy a freestanding house but it will be single fronted and in a busy location. Units at this level will most likely have views be renovated and you will get 3 bedrooms. Most will have parking.
61a Rangers Road – $2,088,000 – June 2017
Two bedroom one bathroom freestanding character home with rear lane access to parking. Potential to improve. Road gets some traffic.
35 Hale Road – $2,100,000 – May 2017
Well presented Federation Semi with 3 bedrooms and off street parking. Open plan living and family area with landscaped garden.
12/83-87 Cabramatta Road – $2,100,000 – May 2017
Contemporary dual level townhouse. 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and double security parking.
At around $2.5-3.0M there will be reasonable freestanding houses available as well as quality apartments with good views.
93 Cowles Road – $2,500,000 – May 2017
Federation semi with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and parking for one car. Beautifully renovated.
1/1 Avenue Road – $2,950,000 – June 2017
3 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment on Mosman Bay. Heritage listed sandstone building that has been renovated and with beautiful views. Double lock up garage.
7 The Crescent – $2,959,000 – June 2017
Beautifully renovated 2 level semi with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms but no parking. Landscaped courtyard garden at rear.
At this price you are moving into premium level houses, and will be able to get a reasonably large renovated house in a quality location.
130 Awaba Street – $3,850,000 – June 2017
Modern two level family home on 470 sqm block. 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and parking for 2 cars. Water view for upstairs.
6 Simpson Street – $4,100,000 – April 2017
Large 2 level family home with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and parking for 1 car. Very well renovated with a swimming pool.
$5,000,000 to $10,000,000
This price range will provide large houses and block sizes, and often with views and/or in a premium location.
10 Arbutus Street – $6,050,000 – June 2017
Four Bedroom home on the Balmoral Slopes with views. 2 story home with pool and outdoor entertaining.
96 Prince Albert Street – $7,200,000 – July 2017
Brand new state of the art home on 800sqm land with 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and parking for 2 cars. Large 2 level home with heated pool.
There are many top end houses valued at between $10M and $20M in Mosman, however they are tightly held and therefore few regular sales occur at this price level. Many of these houses that do sell are often quietly sold off market. They are often waterfront properties, or are elevated on large blocks with great views.
2 Mistral Avenue – $10,350,000 – May 2017
Architecturally designed home with tennis court and 25m lap pool. 1,681sqm close to Balmoral Beach and Mosman Village.
32 Iluka Road – $10,000,000 – March 2017
Surrounded by national park with stunning views this home has 5 bedrooms and 4 bathroom. The infinity pool connects to the waterfront reserve.
Homesearch Solutions has been purchasing all types of properties for our clients in Mosman since 1999. We know the area very well and what is achievable with your budget. Call Henry Wilkinson on 0409 105015 anytime if you would like to discuss your purchasing options there. If you would like a no obligation quotation, please click here.
We believe first home buyers are not out of the Sydney market
We believe that first home buyers can still purchase in this strong Sydney real estate market!
We recently helped our client purchase this unit with a lovely view to the city in Mascot. Mascot is an area of rapid price growth with great transport links to the city. This property was an off market listing from one of our agent contacts. We negotiated a discounted price to secure the sale.
Beecroft Buyers Agent
Acting for my client I’ve just exchanged on a Beecroft house at 10pm at home on a Saturday night, for a Canberra client relocating to Sydney.
Beecroft is a suburb in northern Sydney about 22km from the CBD. Beecroft offers great value, and there is a lot of interesting new retail and commercial development around the train station. Definitely a suburb to watch.
Homesearch Solutions is owned by
Homesearch Property Group Pty Ltd – Licence No. 1721053
Office address : 119 Willoughby Rd Crows Nest NSW 2065 Australia
Phone : (61 2) 9958 4815
Mobile : 0409 105015
Mobile from outside Australia : (61) 409 105015
Email : email@example.com
Skype : henrywilkinson1