- There is no cooling-off period when buying house in Perth, Western Australia.
- The selling agent acts as a go-between to pass the messages from the seller to the buyer and vice versa. The selling agent is protecting the interests of the seller only.
- The signed Contract prepared by the selling agent, who is paid by the seller, is legally binding once it reaches the settlement agents.
- Once the Contract has reached the settlement agent, it is a done deal and thereafter it is very difficult for the buyer to change the terms and conditions.
- Brand new property. Foreign nationals can buy a brand new apartment, villa or house that has never been sold before or lived in and is offered for sale directly by the developer. A foreign investor is not allowed to buy an established home or a property that has previously been sold to a private individual or company as an ‘off-the-plan’ opportunity. The sale is required to come straight from the developer to be considered ‘brand new’ under the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) rule. The offer must be written subject to FIRB approval which is usually granted within 30 days. Please check https://firb.gov.au/residential-real-estate
- Vacant land for residential development. When buying land for redevelopment the foreign national needs to adhere to certain rules:
- Vacant land can be purchased for a single residential dwelling. Such a development must be completed within four years from the date of approval. Foreign non-residents will not be approved to purchase an established dwelling to redevelop into a single new dwelling.
- Foreign national are normally allowed to purchase an established dwelling for redevelopment of multiple dwellings in Australia; however, they cannot rent out the existing dwelling prior to demolition. They also have to prove that this redevelopment genuinely increases the housing stock. As is the case for single residential dwellings, developers need to complete the development within four years of the date of approval.
- As with brand new properties, the Offer for purchase of land needs to be written subject to FIRB rule.
Brand new properties or (developed) vacant land properties acquired under this category may be rented out or sold freely at any time.
If the temporary visa expires without being converted into a permanent residency visa, and the foreign national leaves Australia, the established property cannot be kept as an investment property. In order to comply with FIRB rules, an established property that is purchased under a temporary visa has to be sold within three months from when it ceases to be their principal place of residence.
FEES FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS AND TEMPORARY RESIDENTS: An application for approval to purchase residential real estate by foreign investors or temporary residents will not be considered until the relevant application fee has been paid in full.
Scale of fees for FIRB approval:
Property Value Fee
Under $1m $5,000
Between $1m and $2m $10,000
Between $2m and $3m $20,000
For each further $1m increment in value, add $10,000.
WA has introduced an additional stamp duty of 7% for foreign buyers as from 1st Jan 2019.
There is a new penalty regime for breaches of the rules that apply to residential real estate purchased by foreign nationals and temporary residents.