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1. Research

Not only do you want to end up in a great property in an area you love, but to ensure you’re also making a sound investment, keep your eye on where house prices have been, where they might be going, and whether you can afford a property in your chosen area.

Don’t miss out on your dream property due to currency fluctuations. Times Currency Services can help you fix an exchange rate.

2. Rent first?

If you’re not completely familiar with Australia, it may be a good idea to rent a property first, then, while you’re renting to get out about in the area to discover where would be the best place to settle down. Then, that’s where number 3 comes in.

3. Ask yourself more of the big questions

Do you have everything you need to make your move happen? Do you have an Australian bank account? Do you have all the necessary funds? Have you arranged work for when you arrive? Schools? Haulage? There’s more to the move than the house purchase.

4. Get FIRB approval

You’ll probably need to get permission from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to buy property in Australia. You should find out whether approval has been given within 40 days, though it can take up to 130 days. You can still start your house hunt before approval’s been given – you can even exchange contracts – but the contract must be drawn up on the condition that approval is given.

5. Get professional help

It’s worth contacting a lawyer with experience in Australian law. Buying property in Australia is not entirely dissimilar from the process in the UK, but there’s a lot of red tape to negotiate. A lawyer will make sure all the necessary clauses are included when it comes to signing the first contract and paying the 10% deposit.

6. Exchanging contracts

Once your offer’s been accepted, it’s typical for contracts to be exchanged almost immediately. After exchange of contracts, you’re committed to buying the property, and you’ll have to pay the 10% holding deposit. When paying the deposit, use a currency specialist like Times Currency Services to get a better exchange rate than you’d get from your bank.

7. Searches

Just like in the UK, your solicitor will run local searches and will check the title deed before you are able to complete on the property. Generally, completion happens six weeks on from the day you’ve exchanged.

8. Fees and taxes

The extra fees and taxes involved in buying property in Australia will cost you an extra 5% of the purchase price, but it’s worth allowing 7%. This is made up of a Land Transfer Registration fee – which varies from state to state – legal fees, generally between AUD 500 and AUD 1,200 (£225 and £545), the local tax, survey, insurance and mortgage fees. On top of that, you’ll have to pay capital gains tax if you’re spending less than six months of your time in Australia.

9. Use a currency specialist to pay mortgage and maintenance fees

On all subsequent currency transfers that have to be made – for example monthly mortgage payments from your UK bank account or ongoing maintenance fees – you should use a currency exchange specialist, like Times Currency Services, rather than your bank to make the payments. You’ll get better exchange rates, and you’ll have the opportunity to fix an exchange rate in advance to protect yourself from fluctuations in currency markets.


This document is for information and educational purposes only. Investing in property carries a certain amount of risk which you should research before purchasing any property. If you are unsure about the risks or procedures involved please seek independent advice.

The research contained herein has been generated by employees of World First UK Ltd, and is a true reflection of their views and opinions. We do not act as advisor or in a fiduciary capacity.