Property in Australia has been booming in the past few years. This is partly due to the Australian government’s foreign policy on real estate. This policy encourages foreign investment in real estate especially in the area of housing. Activities in new housing and land developments are especially favored. To facilitate the entry of foreign investors or foreign persons, the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) is the arm of the government that is charged with assessing and recommending proposals from foreign persons.
Buying property in Australia
A foreign person can be an individual or an entity not ordinarily resident in Australia. Foreign persons can invest in the Australian property market by; buying a new house, buying vacant land for building single residential, buying vacant land for building multiple buildings or by redeveloping an existing property.
Buy a new dwelling
In terms of real estate, new dwelling refers to any house or unit that was bought straight from a developer. This dwelling must not have been occupied for a period of more than 12 months. Offices that have been reworked and turned to residential houses are also included. Existing residential real estates that have undergone renovations are not considered new dwellings.
Buy vacant land for single residential building
Those planning to buy land to build a residential property will have to apply to the investment board. Most applications will be approved based on the condition that the investor starts building activities within a period of 24 months from when the approval is granted.
Buy vacant land for multiple residential buildings
Those who are applying to buy land for residential development will get approved subject to the same conditions as in a request for single building.
Redevelopment here means the act of demolishing existing buildings and building new developments. It should be noted that redevelopment does not refer to refurbishment of existing buildings. Most investors seeking to redevelop should be able to show that the number of buildings will be increased. If the number is not to be increased, the investor will have to show that the existing building is no longer valuable. This may require getting a licensed value to evaluate the building and a report from a builder prepared.
Most redevelopment applications will be granted on the basis that the supposed building o be demolished does is not rented out and once demolished, construction will start within 24 months. Another requirement is that the investor shows prove that the local council will or has sanctioned the project.
How to apply
All those interested in acquiring property in Australia can apply online through the FIBR website. Investors will be required to create login details that include a username and password. Once the application is made, an official response from FIBR should reach the investor within 30 days. Investors may send emails to check on the status of their application if they have not received any response after 15 days.
Buying property in Australia as a foreign investor is pretty straight forward. As long as the investor can meet the minimum requirements, their application to buy property in Australia will be granted. For more information on buying property in Australia as foreigner, visit www.firb.gov.au.