Australia – foreign buyers still very high despite new regulations

International homebuyers in Australia: what market share?

According to the residential property survey (Q3 2016) led by the National Australia Bank[i], « Foreign buyers were seen as having played a lesser role in local markets in Q3 – accounting for an estimated 10.2% of all new and 6.4% of all established property sales (the lowest reported levels since mid/late-2012)[ii] ».

The graph below shows how foreign buyers in Australia have consistently represented 10% to 15% of the market for New Properties, and 4% to 8% for resale properties.

The influence of foreign buyers in Australian property markets continued to lessen according to surveyed property professionals, suggesting that tighter conditions imposed on foreign buyers is still having an impact.

Tax rises on foreign homebuyers in Australia : a significant tax ?

All those restrictions were set up or reinforced in 2016. New South Wales and Queensland introduced stamp duty charges for foreign buyers of 4% and 3% respectively.

The state of Victoria increased an existing stamp duty charges for foreign buyers of property to 7%. You can read more on that on the Financial Times[iii].

In what regions are international buyers most active ?

For New Property, Victoria leads the way with 15%, 5 points ahead of a duo formed by New South wales and Queensland as you can see below :

For Established property, Victoria also leads the way, however followed very closely by the three other regions :

Which countries are snapping up Aussie property?

According to FIRB (Foreign investment Review Board) last data available, the dollar value of real estate investment approvals by country looked like this in 2014/2015:

·     China $12,406m

·     USA $6,135m

·     Singapore $4,303m

·     Canada $2,945m

·     Malaysia $2,038m

·     UK $1,795m

·     Netherlands $1,720m

·     NZ $1,362m

·     Hong Kong $1,279m

·     Germany $1,169m

·     South Korea $1,083m

Source :

This shows that the reality of foreign buyers in Australia is not China China China, as the press tends to write. The Americans, Singaporeans and Canadians combined are more important than the Chinese. A quick look at the immigration figures will confirm that the reality is more diverse[iv], as Australia attracts foreigners for relocation, education, retirement, or investment, among other factors.

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