Foreign investment propels Sydney, Melbourne property bubbles

Applications by foreigners to purchase Australian real estate has surged in 2013/14.

Data contained in the Foreign Investment Review Board’s annual report, released yesterday, show there were 23,430 applications to buy Australian real estate last financial year.

This is up 95 per cent from the 12,025 applications received the year earlier.

Of the 23,430 applications, two applications were rejected. This is an “improvement” over the previous year, when the FIRB rubber stamped every application.

ยป Foreign Investment Review Board Annual Report 2013-2014 – Foreign Investment Review Board, 30th April 2015.


  1. Foreign buyers are only allowed to buy property that are priced out of the average Australian’s capability. Let the rich and affluent here in Australia worry about them buying up their future house. The house price range the average Australian(80% of us) affects is being inflated by the Australian government’s negative gearing and cashed up Australian investors using their superannuation funds. Two minority groups all happily subsidized by us the majority to become wealthy. This is what the voter continues to happily support.

  2. Theo, forget what foreign buyers are allowed to buy. There is enough evidence that they are buying many properties illegally, or at least dubiously through companies, children studying here etc.

    Although they are buying top-of-the range properties, they are also buying further down the ladder as well. There is also the trickle-down effect where people, (both Australian and foreign) priced out of one area, look to the neighbouring suburb, bidding up properties there, and so on. The whole real estate market as been impacted by foreign investors.

    That’s not to say that all the other factors like negative gearing, SMSFs, low interest rates, drip-feeding of land and other factors haven’t had an effect. They have all contributed to make our housing market one of the most expensive in the world.

    As for voters continuing to happily support all this – well, yes, anyone with property is understandably very happy to have become wealthy through real estate. So many boomers who bought modest houses in the 80s now find themselves millionaires and multi-millionaires, simply by virtue of the fact they own a house, and maybe an invsstment property or three. The fact that this housing bubble has nothing to do with fundamentals and everything to do with artificial props is immaterial.

    What will probably happen is that as more and more people find themselves locked out of the housing market, and as they start to lobby the government to do something, only then will something be done. Unless the bubble bursts under its own weight first.

  3. @admin

    The so called “crackdown” on foreign investors buying Australian real estate, is nothing more than lip service from the politicians who want to give the impression they “care” about housing affordability (or should that be unaffordability).

    Also the FIRB is a joke and a toothless tiger, the foreign investor rules are easy to get around, a foreign investor can get around the rules by simply buying an established property in the name of an Australian citizen, then having that property put back in their name, it’s not hard to do.

  4. @Yoda, yep I noticed the government has regurgitated policy coinciding with the release of the FIRB annual report.

    The press release says “The Government will introduce legislation into Parliament in the Spring Sittings to ensure that the reforms will commence on 1 December 2015”, so all they have done is rehashed policy from the discussion paper and written a press release to perfectly coincide one day after the FIRB reported foreign investment in real estate surged. Now, when they can get it into law, they will blame Labor.

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