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Fifth of foreign investments in Australia from Chinese property buyers

A significant increase in the number of Chinese buyers purchasing properties in the Australian market was a key driver behind the country approving almost one-third more financial investments in 2016 than in 2015.

This is one of the findings of the newly-published 2016 annual report from the Foreign Investment Review Board, which showed that a total of $47.3 billion of investments from China were approved throughout Australia in the 12 months leading up to the end of June 2016, accounting for one-fifth of all investments from foreign markets.

Of these, some $31.9 billion related to real estate, demonstrating that Chinese buyers are driving growth across Australia's property market.

The report stated: "For the third year in a row, China was the largest source of approved investment, driven by continuing approvals in the real estate sector."

Overall, the total value of approved foreign investments in Australia came in at $247.9 billion in 2016, marking an increase of almost one-third (29 per cent) in comparison to the previous 12-month period.

What's more, the total figure for last year is almost double the combined approved investment sum of $135.7 billion recorded over the previous three years.

China's investments in the Australian property market accounted for more than half of the total spend from overseas in the residential sector, which came in at $57.6 billion. This was an increase of approximately one-third in comparison to the previous 12-month period.

The report also explained that the overall rise in foreign investment across the country's real estate sector "is in line with the policy to encourage residential real estate investment that increases housing supply".

This refers to the fact that Australia is currently on a drive to make it more difficult for foreign investors to purchase existing homes in the country, as it wants to safeguard these for domestic citizens.

However, the nation still wants to encourage investment in new property developments from abroad to help create more new homes for residents while boosting its economy and international business landscape.

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