Invest in paradise

a guide to buy property in Australia as a foreign investor

“Under Australia’s foreign investment framework, foreign persons generally need to apply for foreign investment approval before purchasing residential real estate in Australia.”

– Source Foreign Investment Review Board

Noosa River front houses

The foreign investment review board (FIRB) created a guidances page for foreigners investing in residential real estate in Australia.
Down below we collected the most important quotes to give you a broad overview and understanding.

View the full guidance here

“The Government’s policy is to channel foreign investment into new dwellings as this creates additional jobs in the construction industry and helps support economic growth. It can also increase government revenues, in the form of stamp duties and other taxes, and from the overall higher economic growth that flows from the additional investment”

– FIRB

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New dwellings and vacant land

“Foreign persons generally need to apply and receive foreign investment approval before purchasing new dwellings and vacant residential land for development. Applications to purchase new dwellings are usually approved without conditions. Applications to purchase vacant land are normally approved subject to construction being completed within four years (to prevent land banking).”

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Established dwellings

“Consistent with the aim of increasing the housing stock, foreign persons (both temporary residents and non‑residents) can apply for approval to purchase an established dwelling for redevelopment (that is demolishing the dwelling and constructing new residential dwellings in its place). These applications are normally approved on the condition that at least two dwellings are built for the one demolished.”

 

“Non-resident foreign persons are generally prohibited from purchasing established dwellings in Australia. However, reflecting the fact that foreign persons who are temporary residents need a place to live during their time in Australia, temporary residents can apply to purchase one established dwelling to use as a residence while they live in Australia. The purchase of an established dwelling in these circumstances would normally be conditional on the foreign person selling the property when they leave Australia, or cease being a temporary resident and do not become a permanent resident or an Australian citizen. Temporary residents cannot acquire established dwellings to rent out or for use as a holiday home.”

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Are there any exemptions?

“Australian citizens do not require foreign investment approval to purchase residential real estate, regardless of whether they are resident in Australia or not. New Zealand citizens and holders of Australian permanent residency visas are also exempt from the requirement to seek foreign investment approval to buy residential real estate. Spouses of Australian citizens, New Zealand citizens and holders of Australian permanent visas do not require foreign investment approval when purchasing residential real estate as joint tenants.”