Can Americans Buy Real Estate in China?

General information on property acquisition for foreigners

If foreigners acquire ownership or co-ownership of real estate, this must be approved by the authorities. This does not apply to citizens of EU and EEA member states; these are on an equal footing with residents. In principle, an approval procedure only has to be carried out by nationals of third countries. However, due to bilateral agreements, citizens of some third countries can also buy land without a permit process. However, these usually still require a confirmation so that no approval is required.

Since the exact provisions for foreign property acquisition in Foreign land acquisition law of the individual federal states are regulated, you only get a rough overview of the procedure here. In Graz, for example, citizens of third countries do not need a permit. In Vienna, a permit is not required if married couples acquire property or an apartment if one of them is Austrian citizens.


  • Natural persons who do not have Austrian citizenship
  • Legal persons and partnerships with legal capacity that have their registered office, head office or head office abroad
  • Legal persons and partnerships with legal capacity with their registered office in Germany, in which foreign nationals are predominantly involved
  • Associations with a statutory seat in Germany whose voting members are predominantly foreigners or whose governing body is predominantly made up of foreigners
  • Foundations, funds and similar legal entities, whose assets or income, according to the statutory purpose, exclusively or predominantly belong to foreigners

Third-country nationals

This refers to nationals of states that are not members of the European Union (EU) and are not contractual partners of the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA).

Last updated: February 5, 2021

Responsible for the content: Austrian Chamber of Notaries