Off­shore buy­ers find real es­tate pur­chases pretty smooth sail­ing

The Courier-Mail - Property - - NEWS - SO­PHIE FOSTER

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.

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