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Monday, March 29, 2010

Foreign buyers inflating property market in Australia

MELBOURNE: Foreign buyers are a factor in rising house prices, said Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens.

He said the bank was monitoring how much the Australian government’s decision last March to relax its rules on foreigners owning property had contributed to surging prices for housing. “The role of foreign purchases was an important one and it’s one we’re giving some attention to,” he said.

Australia’s Treasurer Wayne Swan eased restrictions for those on temporary visas, such as business owners and foreign students, to allow them to buy any home to live in, land to build on or new dwelling for investment purposes.

Real estate agency Marshall White said buyers from mainland China and Hong Kong kick-started Melbourne’s prestige property market last year and still accounted for a third of its sales. Malaysian-born agent Julie Wai Leng Karl said it was becoming important to have multilingual agents in the housing business.

By Bernama

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