Fears one million Aussie homes could soon be owned by foreign buyers

News Corp Australia

15 FEB 2019

Australia is selling off natural resources, farmland and property to China at a “crazy” rate — putting us at risk of becoming the “24th province” of the East Asian behemoth.

That’s according to real estate expert Doug Driscoll, who warned of the urgent need to start a national conversation about foreign ownership of residential property in particular.

While interest from overseas buyers has decreased in recent years, the Starr Partners chief executive said our overall rate of foreign ownership was still alarmingly high.

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And he said a report released last month by Chinese international property portal Juwai.com showed there was now an “insatiable appetite” for Australian property among Chinese buyers, with our softening housing market boosting interest.

In 2017, ANZ found foreign buyers owned up to 400,000 Australian homes. Today, Mr Driscoll estimated that figure would be “close to 500,000”.

ANZ also estimated foreign investors bought between 30,000 and 50,000 new dwellings in 2015-16.

At that rate, Mr Driscoll said it “won’t be too long” before a million homes were in foreign hands, with buyers from China and India the most common demographic.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to wonder what impact that could have on our economy,” he said.

“We’re only a population of 25 million with 10 million dwellings, and if we’re not careful we could be overrun quite easily.”

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“Last year, Chinese developers acquired a third of all residential development sites in Australia”

“Last year, Chinese developers acquired a third of all residential development sites in Australia”