5 things to know before buying a property in Australia

Before you buy a property in Australia you need to take into account the following things:

Popular locations

The main cosmopolitan areas are very popular with expats, cities such as Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne. These areas provide the best potential for finding well paid skilled work, unfortunately as a result of these factors property prices do tend to be higher than other areas in Australia.

For the more adventurous expats a move to the coastal regions such as the Gold coast, Queensland and Cairns provide cheaper property, a booming tourist industry just ripe to be taken advantage of by budding entrepreneurs. Many Brit expats are establishing their own businesses in the area.

For even better value the rural areas of Australia provide cheap property and a more laid back lifestyle. Remember that Australia is a vast country and many rural communities are very isolated.


Australia is home to some of the strictest immigration laws in the world. Unless you fit a set criteria of what the country wants then there is a good chance you will not be granted a work visa. The Australian government prefers younger skilled couples. Nurses, electricians, teachers etc.., you can speed up the process if you can obtain sponsorship from a company that is part of the State Migration Plans.

Legal issues

If you aren’t an Australian citizen, or permanent resident, it is likely that you will need to gain permission from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) before you can purchase a property. Once you have applied, the FIRB will give you an answer within 40 days, however it does reserve the right to extend this to 130 in unusual circumstances.

If you buy a newly-built property, or even a rural home, then you are less likely to have to seek permission from the FIRB – a solicitor will be able to advise you on whether the property that you are interested in is exempt or not.

Typical property prices

The average property price in Australia has dropped in recent years from the countries all time high prices. The global economic situation has affected house markets across the globe and Australia is no exception. The drop in prices is good news for expats seeking to get onto the housing ladder but the uncertainty means that the prices are likely to fluctuate. Rumours of a housing market crash have circulated so it is advised to research the market thoroughly before you buy.


Australia’s working conditions are considered to be some of the best in the world thanks in part to the job market being rigorously regulated by the government and unions. According to the 2011/12 salary survey the average pay is categorised as:

• Full-time adult ordinary time earnings: $64,650 per year
• Full-time adult total earnings: $67,110 per year
• Male full-time total earnings: $72,620 per year
• Female full-time total earnings: $57,520 per year


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