Digging deeper into Australian property investments

Private Property South Africa
The Roosting Venus

Low interest rates, a strong economy, and a residential market that has burgeoned over the last 10 years are just some of the reasons one may take a look at the Australian property market.

We’re not really seminar type of people. In fact if the Other Half sits for more than a few minutes he runs the risk of dropping off. A colleague had to wake him at a corporate breakfast recently, whereupon he embarrassed himself by returning to present company with a snort.

The idea then of listening to a seminar on emigration and investment in the evening was hardly worth the risk. But as there were details we needed to know, I decided to get down to business. For those who are similarly interested in just what the attractions of Down Under hold, but also need persuasion to step out after 5, here’s the deal.

Low interest rates, a strong economy, and a residential market that has burgeoned over the last 10 years are just some of the reasons one may take a look at the Australian property market. A high demand for property, both residential and commercial, financial experts expecting further sustainable growth going forward plus strong government incentives to invest are others. In a nutshell:

  • Australia is politically, economically and financially stable, with development and infrastructure having reached an all-time high.

  • The rate of unemployment is under 5%.

  • Australia has one of the fastest growing populations in the world, which together with rising incomes has ensured that demand for housing in Australia outpaces supply.

  • The Australian Government awards significant tax incentives for people who invest in property for rental purposes.

  • An investment of a little as R1m will contribute to your global financial leverage.

So how then does one go about getting a toe hold in the Australian property market? It’s surprising uncomplicated and has surprising benefits:

  • People who own a property that is rented out in Australia, (non-residents included) enjoy significant and accruable tax benefits.

  • There is little or no tax on rental income (and any shortfall between rent and income can be claimed).

  • People can buy property in Australia whether or not they live there and whether or not they ever intend to live there, although non residents can only buy off-plan or new builds.

  • Non residents can open an Australian bank account from South Africa and deposit money into it and make withdrawals.

  • Non residents are able to arrange a mortgage in Australia to buy Australian property before they live there, (and without ever living there) allowing them to establish an Australian credit rating.

If you do decide to emigrate, leaving it to the experts (an established emigration agency) is highly recommended and the process is relatively straightforward with skills, qualifications and family ties being advantageous. The acquisition of a permanent residency visa takes around six to nine months through a good agency and with this one can live in Australia and after four years become a citizen. Matters such as foreign exchange control, Foreign Investment Review Board approval and differences in purchasing processes are also relatively simple under the guidance of a good agency.

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