The Foreign Investment Review Board, commonly referred to as F.I.R.B., is a government body that advises people on the administration of the foreign investment policy.
Under Australia’s foreign investment framework, foreign persons generally need to apply for investment approval before purchasing residential real estate in Australia.
The Government’s policy is to channel foreign investment into new dwellings as this creates additional jobs in the construction industry and helps support economic growth. It can also increase government revenues, in the form of stamp duties and other taxes, and from the overall higher economic growth that flows from additional investment.
Foreign investment applications are therefore generally considered in light of the overarching principle that the proposed investment should increase Australia’s housing stock (be creating at least one new additional dwelling).
Rules are put in place by the Board to ensure that any foreign investments will benefit existing housing stock in Australia and ensures that property prices do not escalate for residents.
It is important that foreign investors understand and comply with Australia’s foreign investment framework as strict criminal and civil penalties now apply for breaches of the law, including disposal orders.
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