This category includes all residential dwellings which are not new dwellings (that is, they have been
previously owned and/or they have been occupied for more than 12 months).
Foreign persons are prohibited from acquiring established dwellings for investment purposes (that
is, they cannot be purchased to be used as a rental or holiday property), irrespective of whether they are temporary residents
in Australia or not.
Foreign persons who are temporary residents in Australia do not require approval to acquire a second-hand
dwelling as their principal place of residence.
Proposals by foreign-owned companies to acquire second-hand dwellings for the purpose of providing
housing for their Australian-based staff are normally approved subject to the following condition:
the company undertakes to sell or rent the property if it is expected to remain vacant
for six months or more.
Proposed acquisitions of vacant land for residential development are normally approved subject to
development condition(s) imposed under the FATA.
Acquisitions of single blocks of vacant land (that is, land which is zoned to permit the construction
of no more than one residential dwelling per block of land) for the purpose of building a single residential dwelling on each
block are normally approved subject to the following condition:
continuous substantial construction must commence within 24 months.
Acquisitions of other vacant land (not single blocks) for the purpose of building multiple residential
dwellings are normally approved subject to the following conditions:
continuous substantial construction must commence within 24 months; and
at least 50 per cent of the acquisition cost or the current market value of the land
(whichever is higher) must be spent on development.
Once these conditions have been fulfilled, properties acquired under this category may be rented out,
sold to Australian interests or other eligible purchasers, or retained for the foreign investor's own use.
New dwellings acquired ‘off the plan’ (before construction commences or during the construction
phase) or after construction is complete are normally approved where the dwellings:
have not previously been sold (that is, they are purchased from the developer); and
have not been occupied for more than 12 months.
There are no restrictions on the number of such dwellings in a new development which may be sold to foreign
persons, provided that the developer markets the dwellings locally as well as overseas (that is, the dwellings cannot be marketed
This category includes dwellings that are part of extensively refurbished buildings where the building's
use has undergone a change from non-residential (for example, office or warehouse) to residential. It does not include established
residential real estate that has been refurbished or renovated.
A property purchased under this category may be rented out, sold to Australian interests or other
eligible purchasers, or retained for the foreign investor's own use. Once the property has been purchased, it is second-hand
real estate and is subject to the restrictions applying to that category.
Off The Plan Approval For Developers
Developers of 10 or more dwellings may have previously applied for advance approval to sell up to
50 per cent of new residences to foreign interests. If such pre-approval was granted, the developer is required to provide
a copy of their pre-approval letter to each prospective purchaser and to report all sales (that is, Australian and foreign)
to FIRB on a 12 monthly basis until all the dwellings in the development have been sold or occupied.
As the administrative procedures are streamlined, the current system for developers seeking
advance approval to sell new dwellings to foreign persons will be discontinued. Until further notice, the pre-approval
arrangements that have been operating for some time will continue to operate on a case-by-case basis. Please contact
FIRB for specific advice.
All current pre‑approvals remain valid. Where such approval has been granted, foreign purchasers
should not apply for individual approval. If the developer has not been granted advance approval, then the individual investor
must seek approval.