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  • Writer's pictureAlison Wong

Property Investment Guide:the process of buying a property in Australia

Updated: Apr 11

Editor’s note:

Nowadays, people’s investments are becoming increasingly diversified. More and more savvy investors are turning their attention to overseas real estate investment. Australia’s beautiful living environment, pleasant climate, stable political situation, and first-class education make it a top investment destination.

In Australia, buying a home is not a difficult process. The process may seem overwhelming but because Australian law is very sound, you will not have to do any heavy lifting as professionals will handle the matter for you.

In addition, overseas investors can apply for mortgages in Australia with simple procedures and low interest rates. A house can be used as a rental property as well as a place to live.

Real estate in Australia can be passed on for generations as personal property without being subject to inheritance tax, which is the ideal choice for family wealth. When allocating assets, many wealthy people around the world choose Australian real estate.

So, if you want to buy a property in Australia, what do you need to know? In this article, all processes and precautions relevant to investing in property in Australia will be explained in detail to help people overseas who want to buy real estate for sale in Australia as well as help experienced investors realise their dreams.

Here are four things you need to know when purchasing Australian real estate:

1. What are the options for major cities in Australia?
2. What are the types of real estate in Australia?
3. What fees are involved in buying property in Australia?
4. What are the specific processes for buying property in Australia?

1. How to choose from major cities in Australia?

When looking to invest, you should compare the property hotspots in Australia. The combined population of Melbourne and Sydney accounts for half of Australia’s total population. Additionally, these are two cities that are popular among Chinese investors.



Melbourne is known as the “Education State.” It has a strong humanistic atmosphere and a mild climate. It has been rated the world’s most livable city for many years. Many people prefer Melbourne’s liveable and high-quality educational environment, so buying property in Melbourne, Australia, as soon as possible is a wise investment strategy because it will likely become more expensive in the future. The city of Melbourne is rapidly growing, and the cost of buying a building has increased accordingly. In the next 30-40 years, Melbourne’s population will exceed Sydney’s and become the largest in Australia.


Sydney is Australia’s business, trade, finance, culture, and tourism centre. It is also the ocean, sea, land, air traffic, and communications hub. If you want to invest in Sydney, you should be cautious as, in recent years, everyone has been buying real estate in Sydney. Because of this, property prices have increased exponentially. However, from the investment perspective, you can also buy buildings in more remote areas in Sydney where the current prices are lower but the future appreciation potential is significant.


Brisbane has a warm climate throughout the year, and the scenery is like spring. 365 days a year, the climate is warm and rarely cold. The 2032 Summer Olympic Games will be held in Brisbane, Australia. As the third-largest Australian city, the next ten years will be the golden decade of Brisbane’s real estate growth. This is important for everyone to keep in mind when considering buying property in Australia. If you plan early and build a real estate investment portfolio, buying in Brisbane is likely to bring investors an excellent opportunity to achieve financial freedom as soon as possible.


Perth is the capital of Western Australia and the fourth largest city in Australia. The climate is pleasant, the city is magnificent, and it has the beautiful name “the capital of wildflowers.” It has also ranked among the best in global livable cities. In addition, Perth performs well in tourism and education. With the recovery of mining, various economic indicators are even better. The number of overseas looking at property for sale in Western Australia, specifically Perth, have also increased year by year.


Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia. It is loved by overseas people with its vast parks, blue-grey sandstone buildings, and relaxed and happy lifestyle. From the perspective of buying buildings in Australia, Adelaide, like blue-chip stocks, may not be comparable with the two international metropolises of Melbourne and Sydney. The cost of buying a building in these two cities is often more than double that of Adelaide. It can be said that the real estate for sale here is expensive but low-risk, and stable long-term.

Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is the sixth largest city in Australia, located on the eastern coast. It is famous for its abundant sunlight, white sandy beaches, and clear blue oceans. Every year, international tourists continue to increase, and more and more people buy property to stimulate economic development further. In addition to the developed tourism industry, the economy, education, medical care, and benefits of the Gold Coast are all well-developed. These factors will definitely attract more overseas investors to this city. The increase in the wave of immigration will accelerate the development of the property market and stimulate the rise in house prices.

2. What kind of real estate is there in Australia?

Australian real estate buildings are roughly divided into houses, townhouses, and apartments. Each has its own advantages. If you plan to buy a property in Australia, you must also consider which type you want to buy in advance.


In Australia, a house or villa is one or two storeys with its own garden. Each house is built independently, and the style can be diverse. The homeowner can rebuild the house according to personal preference. Generally speaking, the cost of buying a house in Australia is the highest.


Townhouses are rows of several houses designed in a unified style. Even some of the interior decorations are uniform. The price of a townhouse in Australia is lower than a house whilst still having a private garden, terrace, and house-like feeling.


Apartments are found in buildings that are at least three floors high. Each building has one or more units, and each unit houses one or more households. Generally, security is the best in apartments, as most have access control systems. Suitable for students and young technical immigrants, apartments have an area of about 80 to 200 square meters, with deed property rights. For overseas buyers, apartments are often the first choice because they are usually new, and modern rental returns are high, making them excellent investment products.

3. What are the specific processes for buying property in Australia?

When buying property in Australia, it is most important to set a reasonable price based on your financial ability. This is important. Once you know what you can afford, you can choose a house that suits you in your chosen city. Consider how much money you have available, how much you will need to loan from banks, and so on. Once the price is set, you can complete your purchase according to the following process:

Choose appropriate real estate

Before buying a property in Australia, you must choose a city you want to invest in and then choose the appropriate property to buy through an Australian agency. When overseas people buy Australian buildings, they must pay attention to the screening of agency qualifications. If your agency does not have Australian qualifications and a dispute occurs, the laws of the two countries will not protect you.

Have a lawyer review the contract

Australia has extremely sound legal systems, and lawyers must be involved in buying and selling real estate. However, please note that when purchasing property in Australia, the lawyer is only responsible for checking the contract, confirming the legitimacy and compliance, etc., and does not express opinions on the house’s value. Buyers bear the risk of deciding to buy in Australia. Apartment diagrams, brochures, and so on are usually not part of the contract. These are just a reference – meaning they do not have legally binding power. Contracts are usually not stated in the area of square meters.

Apply for an overseas buyer permit (FIRB)

Overseas buyers must submit an application to the Foreign Investment Review Board before buying property in Australia. The application must be completed for overseas buyers to purchase certain Australian real estate.

FIRB must approve overseas buyers before signing a housing contract, otherwise they will be regarded as violating FIRB regulations (resulting in a fine or severe punishment). It is recommended that this process be completed by the buyer’s lawyer. For more information about applying to FIRB, please use FIRB’s official website:

Formally signing the contract

When buying property in Australia, the buyer and seller must have a contractual relationship after signing the contract. For existing houses (including new houses and secondhand houses), the seller is required to price according to the current state of the property. If the buyer finds that some facilities or the status of the property do not match what is outlined in the contract, relevant evidence is required to dispute this.

Delivery of 10% bond

When buying an Australian property, after signing a house purchase contract, the buyer needs to transfer 10% of the contract price to the trust account of the agency or seller’s lawyer. The buyer should ensure their loan documents, identity verification etc., are finalised to avoid delaying the delivery.

Cooling off period Generally speaking, after buying a building in Australia, the buyer has three working days after signing the contract to change their mind. This can vary based on different state laws. Within this cooling off period, the buyer can decide not to buy the property but may lose 0.2% of the contract price. If 10% of the deposit has been delivered, the seller will return 9.8% of the buyer’s contract price. After the cooling off period, the buyers and sellers are bound to the contract – that is, the buyer must buy and the seller must sell it unless there are special terms to be satisfied.

Apply for loans

Buyers who apply for loans need to note that when buying property in Australia, the loan is paid after the delivery of real estate. Therefore, applying for loans in advance before delivery is essential. To buy an existing house, you can use a bank or loan agency to apply for a loan pre-approval before you sign the contract for the property. After signing the contract, you will start preparing materials to finalise the loan.

Arrange final inspection

Whether people are in Australia or overseas, buyers must make an appointment with real estate agencies to perform a final check before buying Australian property. If a problem is found, the buyer and seller’s lawyers can be notified to negotiate to resolve the problem. The seller can receive fines and penalties (commonly 12% or higher) for delays. If this becomes over 14 days overdue, the seller has the right to terminate the contract, sue for additional compensation for additional losses (if any) and/or not provide the buyer with the property.

Successful delivery

On the day of the delivery, the buyer needs to make the final payment based on the cost of buying a house in Australia, as well as third-party costs (including stamp duty, government and water bureaus, and property companies). Overseas people also need to pay additional taxes for purchasing Australian property. After that, you can get the keys, and the real estate has been successfully delivered!


Alison’s Story

Born in Hong Kong an moved to Australia, I have been associated with real estate all my life. As the plane slowly landed on the runway of Melbourne Airport, my life and career also changed to another runway. I changed from a Hong Kong real estate agent to an Australian real estate agent, and successfully obtained the Australian lawyer qualification.

When I was working in a law firm, I was surrounded by highly educated professionals. Even though their wages are very well, and they are absolutely the elites in society, but their lives are full of hard labor, and it’s hard for them to get rich through buying properties.

So I spend all my time and effort on learning financial and real estate investment knowledge, hoping to achieve financial freedom as soon as possible, and let my parents who have worked hard for many years live a good life.

Now I will share with you the knowledge and experience of investing in Australian real estate, and embark on the road to financial freedom together.






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