Offshore buyers find real estate purchases pretty smooth sailing
THE Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), which governs property acquisitions available to foreigners, generally doesn’t stand in the way of new dwelling purchases, but other types of property sales are subject to certain conditions.
According to the FIRB, a new dwelling is one bought straight from the developer and not previously occupied for more than a year.
“New dwellings include those that are part of extensively refurbished buildings where the building’s use has undergone a change from non-residential (for example, office or warehouse) to residential. It does not include established residential real estate that has been refurbished or renovated,” says the contents of an FIRB information pack.
“Foreign persons need to apply to buy new dwellings in Australia and such applications are normally approved.”
Those wanting to buy a block of vacant land to build a new residential dwelling were also “normally approved”, an FIRB statement said.
The proviso was that construction had to begin within 24 months of the international buyer receiving foreign investment approval.
For those offshore buyers wanting to redevelop an existing property, it was straightforward when “the property is uninhabitable and must be demolished”.
In that case, the buyer also had to build within 24 months and could be asked for evidence that the council would allow the proposed redevelopment.
FIRB has a 30-day time frame on responding to applications.