The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics inquiry and report will consider concerns that Australia’s foreign investment policy on residential real estate should be tightened to help stop the Australian real estate market becoming more unaffordable and inaccessible.   We will continue to monitor the progress of the inquiry and report.

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics (Committee) has announced an inquiry into Australia’s foreign investment policy as it relates to real estate.

Under current foreign investment policy, foreign investors are able to seek approval to purchase new dwellings and vacant land for residential development but are generally not allowed to buy established dwellings as investment properties or homes.  However, there have been are concerns raised in the wider Australian community that foreign investment in Australian real estate is causing an unaffordable and less accessible real estate market.

The Term of Reference ask the Committee to examine:

  • the economic benefits of foreign investment in residential property;
  • whether such foreign investment is directly increasing the supply of new housing and bringing benefits to the local building industry and its suppliers;
  • how Australia's foreign investment framework compares with international experience; and
  • whether the administration of Australia's foreign investment policy relating to residential property can be enhanced.

Submissions are due by 9 May 2014 and the Committee will release its report by 10 October 2014.

See also the Committee’s media release dated 19 March 2014.