Making Foreign Investment in Real Estate in Australia

The Australian government is highly supportive of foreign investment made in real estate. This means investing in properties is a good business opportunity. However, there are strict property laws and checks to ensure that speculation does not take place. Buying land or housing units in Australia requires different set of rules to be followed by citizens and foreigners. The foreign investors have to take prior approval and consent of the authorities before making a purchase. For conveyancing in Brisbane, it is important that there must be familiarity of the rules and regulations governing property investment in Australia.


Some non-Australian investors are exempt from obtaining foreign investment approval before purchasing any residential property.


These include the following:
– An Australian citizen that is currently living abroad
– Any person whose spouse is an Australian citizen and the property is being purchased in both names
– A New Zealand citizen
– Holder of permanent resident visa for Australia
– Purchaser who is buying property from a developer who has sought prior approval to sell to foreigners
– Purchaser who is buying property from the Government
– Any person making a purchase or real estate in Integrated Tourism Resort (ITR)
– If a property is left to you in a will by an Australian citizen

In certain cases of residential purchase, approval from Board is essential. Firstly, if you are purchasing second-hand real estate, it is not easy to get Board approval. Secondly, if you want to purchase vacant land, you need to get approval by providing substantial evidence that continuous construction commences within twelve months of the purchase. There are also some other circumstances in which the approval from the Board becomes necessary.


When purchasing real estate in Australia, you are allowed to enter into a contract before obtaining the approval. These will, however, be conditioned to approval. It is important to sign the contract with the necessary condition otherwise, in case the approval is not given, it could lead to a loss of the buyer’s deposit. The Board generally takes up to 30 days to give an approval on the application and advises the parties within ten days after that. All documentation needs to be according to the requirements in order to avoid any delays.


For effective conveyancing in Queensland, it is best to seek services of conveyancing solicitors so you are completely informed of all rules and regulations governing making foreign investment in Australia. These professionals will be able to provide the necessary guidance as well as assist in the entire purchasing process.

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Andrew Francey


Chief Operating Officer

Andrew has over two decades experience in high growth fast moving consumer goods, agribusiness and professional services. Supporting the Ownit team to deliver on client expectations, and implementing processes to scale the organisation, is a key focus for Andrew.

Andrew is a C-Suite leader with Chairman and Board experience.  He has formal qualifications in Business, Applied Finance and AICD Company Directors Course.

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