The expat’s guide to purchasing property in Perth


Perth’s economy is booming, due in no small part to the resources sector. The thriving economy, in turn, is tempting many skilled migrants to our shores.

But before you can start a new life here in Perth, you need a roof over your head. While some foreign residents choose to rent, many others decide to own – which shouldn’t be surprising when you consider the many potential benefits of buying property in Perth.

For one, owning property can be a solid investment as it may appreciate in value over time, giving you a financial return when it’s time to sell. By contrast, rent money is dead money, as you’re essentially paying off your landlord’s mortgage rather than your own.

As a homeowner, you’ll have more security over your living situation and can make changes and improvements to the property to suit your needs. But when you don’t own the property, everything can be a lot more uncertain, as you are subject to your landlord’s whims.


Property restrictions for temporary residents


As with many other countries, buying property in Australia as a foreigner comes with certain rules and regulations you need to follow.

Firstly, all foreign buyers need to apply to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) for approval before they can proceed with any purchase. You’ll also need to pay an application fee, which varies depending on the property’s price.

For the 2022-23 financial year, the FIRB fee is $13,200 for a property valued between $75,000 and $1 million.

FIRB also has rules covering the types of properties temporary residents can buy:

  • New buildings – which FIRB typically approves without conditions
  • Vacant land – though you need to build on the property within four years of the FIRB approval date
  • An established dwelling – provided you live in it (you can’t rent it out) and the property is sold if you eventually leave Australia

How an expert buyer’s agent helps expats buy property

Location, location, location is a real estate cliche for good reason, with your property’s suburb impacting both your lifestyle and likely return on investment.

But looking for the right property in the right location takes an enormous amount of time, particularly when you are thousands of kilometres away and preparing for a big move.

That’s where a good buyer’s agent can help, as they do the property search on your behalf. Think of them as your eyes, ears and boots on the ground, using their expertise and knowledge of the local market to sniff out the best properties that meet your needs and preferences.

Once they’ve found your dream property, they can do the due diligence before negotiating to get you the best deal possible.

So what are some of the qualities expats should look for in a buyer’s agent?

Naturally, they should be local market experts with a wide, established network they can tap into to find your perfect property. Also, they should be great communicators who are proactive in keeping you updated.


Looking to buy property in Perth as a foreigner? As an expert Perth buyer’s agent, Resolve Property Solutions can help. To discuss your options, book a free strategy call with Peter Gavalas.

Get a free personal consultation.

Call us today at 1300 44 63 44