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Foreign Investment

Before you purchase land or property in Australia as an outside investor, ensure that you understand your obligations and comply with the Australian Government’s Foreign Investment Framework. This will help create a smoother process for your investment and avoid breaches that incur harsh penalties.

While we welcome your investment and can help you navigate the land sales market, we recommend you review the regulations from the Australian Government Foreign Investment Review Board prior to starting your land search to ensure your goals and actions are compliant.

Under Australia’s foreign investment framework, foreign persons generally need to apply and receive foreign investment approval before purchasing residential real estate or vacant residential land for development in Australia. Note that applications incur fees and the latest fee structure can be found on the foreign investment website.

The Australian Government’s foreign investment website states that:

“Foreign persons will normally be allowed to purchase vacant land for residential dwelling development, subject to conditions that:

  • The development is completed within four years from the date of approval; and
  • Evidence of completion of the dwelling/s is submitted within 30 days of being received. This could include a final occupancy or builder’s completion certificate.”

The Australian Government’s policy is to channel foreign investment into new dwellings as this creates additional jobs in the construction industry and helps support Australia’s economic growth and housing opportunities.  Foreign investment applications are therefore generally considered in light of the overarching principle that the proposed investment should increase Australia’s housing stock (creating at least one new additional dwelling).

Consistent with this aim, different factors apply depending on whether the type of property being acquired will increase the housing stock or whether it is an established dwelling. It is important that foreign investors understand and comply with Australia’s foreign investment framework as strict criminal and civil penalties may apply for breaches of the law, including disposal orders.

Information provided on this page is a general guide only and is current as of 5th May 2016 per the Foreign Investment Review Board website. To ensure you are following the latest regulations, requirements and obligations we recommend you go to the Foreign Investment Review Board website.

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