Australian approvals of home purchases by foreigners is on the rise, driven by increasing wealth globally and better integration with Asia, according to central bank assistant governor Christopher Kent.
“The data clearly show an increase in the level of approvals for foreign residential purchases over time,” Kent said in a statement to a parliamentary panel in Sydney today. “But it is difficult to know how much this has boosted net demand for Australian housing.”
Kent was testifying at an inquiry by lawmakers into foreign buying of domestic real estate in response to concerns by locals that overseas demand, particularly from China, is driving up prices and reducing affordability. Chinese buyers overtook Americans to become the biggest purchasers of Australian commercial and residential property last financial year as investment surged 42 percent to A$5.9 billion ($5.6 billion), according to the Foreign Investment Review Board.