If you have no visa you are considered a foreign national. As such you are still able to purchase certain types of property in Western Australia although, in principle, you cannot buy an established property. The following types of properties are able to be purchased by foreign nationals in Western Australia:
- Brand new property. Foreign nationals can buy a brand new apartment, villa or house that has never been sold before 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.See link: http://www.firb.gov.au/content/real_estate/residential.asp
- Vacant land for residential development. When buying land the foreign national needs to adhere to certain rules:
- Vacant land can be purchased for a single residential dwelling, but construction must commence within 24 months of purchase.
- The same rule applies to multiple residential dwelling blocks, with the additional condition that at least 50 per cent of the acquisition cost or the current market value of the land (whichever is higher) must be spent on the development.
- Also, as with brand new properties, the Offer for purchase of land needs to be written subject to FIRB rule.
The brand new properties or (developed) vacant land properties acquired under this category may be rented out, sold freely at any time or retained for the investor’s own use.
- Managed tourist developments.
Foreign nationals can buy an interest in the tourist or time-share commercial developments, for example, a hotel room in a strata-titled hotel where that room is managed by the hotel operator. However, you are not entitled to purchase a unit in a hotel building that is owner-occupied, or rented out privately by the owner, as this property is not considered to be part of the hotel.
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