New rules came into force on 1 December 2015. Fortunately for residential property there aren’t many changes. The big change is the fees. There weren’t any fees previously so these will come as a shock to some people. Set out below are the fees applying to Foreign Residents.

Residential land

An interest in residential land valued at $1 million or less

($0 - $1,000,000) $5,000

An interest in residential land valued at over $1 million and under $2 million

($1,000,001 - $1,999,999) $10,000

An interest in residential land valued at $2 million and under $3 million

($2,000,000 - $2,999,999) $20,000

An interest in residential land – further $1 million increments $10,000 per $1 million It will be interesting to see if this has any impact on buyers. My initial thoughts are that at the upper range (over $1,000, 000) there will be little impact. At the lower range, so those that are owner occupier and under $500,000, there will be a big impact. I suspect people may put off buying until they obtain their Permanent Residency Visa.

The rules relating to obtaining FIRB approval are the same. If it is a new property or vacant land then you will get it as a matter of course. For second hand dwellings the buyer needs to have an Australian Visa which is longer than a temporary visa. So all work visas irrespective of how much time they have on them will apply. Tourist or short term business visas will not allow you to buy a second hand dwelling.