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Are Foreign Investors "Killing The Dream" of Australian First-Home Buyers to Buy Their First Homes?

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Like any other new immigrant to this beautiful city of Sydney, Australia, our goal is to own a home. If we really decide to stay here permanently, one of the toughest challenge is to hunt for a house that is affordable. However, March figures shows that Sydney’s median house price is $595,745 according to the Australian Property Monitors. It’s a figure that break the hearts of first home buyers! It was reported that it is almost double what it was a decade ago. So who’s driving the house prices?
A recent news on the television reveals that foreign investors are under scrutiny. The federal government has admitted its new crackdown on foreign investors is an acknowledgment that Australian first-home buyers are being priced out of the market. There have been anecdotal claims of foreign investors – especially wealthy Chinese families – ‘stockpiling’ Australian houses and leaving them idle, and of outbidding young people at auctions.
So what’s the government doing? The Associated Press reported that “the federal government on Friday announced a tightening of foreign investment rules in an attempt to reduce pressure on housing availability. It means temporary residents wanting to buy in Australia will need to be screened and approved beforehand. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says changes to foreign investment laws will make it easier for Australians to get into the real estate market.” The tightening of foreign investment rules require temporary residents to be screened and get permission from the Foreign Investment Review Board to buy a property, sell their property when they leave Australia and build on vacant land within 24 months or sell.
At the moment, it’s really a challenge to just hunt for a house to buy. There’s a big shortage of housing in Sydney. The same challenge if you are looking for a place to rent. Rent is not cheap and on the average it is about $450 a week.



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