REAL ESTATE | How can foreign buyers invest in Port Douglas?


Rosie Wang

Guest Columnist

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Port Douglas is a little slice heaven that many investors would like to invest in. 

Buying property for holiday accommodation or long-term investment is what most investors will choose.  For foreign investors their choice is limited as they are not allowed to buy existing homes.

So, what can they buy?

They can buy new properties, off-the-plan apartments and vacant land. For a non-resident foreigner and you wish to buy residential property in Port Douglas, you will first need to obtain approval from the FIRB (Foreign Investment Review Board).

You can apply for approval online and will need to apply before each purchase.  There is no limit for how many purchases.

According to the FIRB, a new dwelling must have been constructed on residential land and must not have been sold previously as a dwelling and must either:

  • If the dwelling is part of a development and then was sold by the developer of the development, then it must not have been previously occupied for more than 12 months.
  • Had no previous occupants

If vacant land is purchased, the development must be completed within four years of approval.

The cost of the application is based on the purchase price and is worked out as follows:

Be aware, also, that any rental income received from your investment will need to be declared on an Australian tax return, while you will need to pay Capital Gains Tax on any profit you make when selling.

There are a number of new luxury developments happening in Port Douglas at the moment in apartments and houses. Buying a vacant land plot and finding a local company that can build a house is almost standard in Port Douglas, so you will have no problem in finding reliable and supportive local builders.

With land and new-builds being more affordable than in the more southern states of Australia, it is possible to get more bang for your buck here.

With the tropical climate and a thriving tourism industry Port Douglas can offer the foreign investor a host of opportunities.

 Rosie Wang is a sales consultant at Ray White, Port Douglas

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