Buying Property in Australia
Location of Property in Australia: Whatever your reasons for moving to Australia, one of your main considerations will be where to live! Other important factors are whether you should purchase or rent and, of course, how will your cost of housing affect your financial situation.
Most of the population reside on the east coast of Australia and within 100 kilometers (60 miles) of the coast. The two main cities are Sydney and Melbourne which are both commercial and bustling. The next largest is Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, which has an entirely different atmosphere. The climate is quite different being warmer, even in winter time, so the life-style tends to be more laid- back and even solicitors and bankers are likely to be wearing open-necked shirts.
A simple Google search of ‘Australia state capital cities’ and you will then be able to find details of many towns, their locations and attractions. If you are coming to a pre-determined location then add that detail into your search request.
Prices of property in Australia are generally high compared to countries such as the UK because though there is a mass of land everybody seems to prefer the coast. This is where the settlement is, the roads, rail, entertainment, schools etc.. Go inland another 100km and the prices drop substantially – perhaps by 50%.
The larger cities and towns, because land is expensive, have turned to building unit developments, these are group titled flats or apartments. A person can purchase one of the units and have full ownership of that unit plus the right to use and enjoy the common property in Australia, which may even be a swimming pool or tennis court. Quality for quality they are cheaper than stand-alone houses on their own block of land but some of these can still be many hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on where they are situated, their size and their fittings.
During the ‘global financial’ troubles which started around 2009, and are still continuing, the prices of property in Australia crashed. Drops in value of around 50% were not uncommon. Now, there has been a slight upturn but only in the very low single figure range. This means that some properties in Australia, particularly those in the million dollar bracket, can be great deals. The general prices for properties are about the level that they were ten years ago. With very slow improvement they could represent increased values over the next few years. It is certainly unlikely that they will drop further.
In some cases the family home represents the major asset of a family and though they would like to sell they just have to sit on an unrealistic asking figure because there is still a huge mortgage hanging over the property in Australia.
Property purchases by expats
The purchase of property by non residents may be an issue depending upon your reasons for coming to Australia. If the thought of owning your own property is important to you, then you should check the website of the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). This website answers many questions about the purchase of property in Australia and will be of immense value to you. For general, well-intentioned, residents there is little barrier to purchasing property in Australia, the FIRB is mainly to monitor huge investment purchases.