THERE has been a dramatic fall in foreign investment in Australia’s housing market, but demand for Queensland property remains steady.
The latest Foreign Investment Review Board report reveals the value of approvals for foreign investment in residential real estate nationally fell $17.5 billion over the 2017/18 financial year to $12.5 billion.
Queensland received 17 per cent of all residential real estate approvals last financial year, with an investment value of $1.4 billion — more than the ACT, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania combined.
The figure is almost unchanged from 18 per cent in 2016/17.
It’s a different story nationally, with the number of residential real estate approvals peaking in 2015/16 at 40,000, with a proposed investment value of $72.4 billion, before plummeting to just 10,000 in fiscal 2018.
China accounts for the majority of residential real estate approvals.
Carrie Law, chief executive of Chinese real estate website Juwai.com, said that while Chinese demand for residential real estate nationally had fallen, a recovery was on the way.
“The FIRB data is already nine months old,” Ms Law said.
“The data is finally starting to reflect what happened last year. Chinese buying dropped off significantly due to foreign buyer taxes and capital controls.
“Our data suggests the fall in Chinese demand is over.
“We expect Chinese buying to be flat in 2019.”
Ms Law said Chinese buying in 2017-18 was most impacted by three factors — the unexpected canceling of promised mortgage loans by Australian banks, higher foreign stamp duty taxes and capital controls making it more difficult to move money from China.
More than 17 per cent of all residential properties found to be in breach of foreign investment rules in 2017/18 were in Queensland.
A recent report from realestate.com.au found demand from Chinese buyers for the Brisbane housing market actually rose 35 per cent in the 12 months to May 2018.