In 2013 foreign investors obtained permission from the Victorian government to build or to buy 4,500 houses, amounting to some $18b worth of approvals. Numbers of houses falling into foreign hands are increasing, with the Chinese the biggest buyers and builders, followed by the Canadians, Americans and Singaporeans. There were 12,025 applications to invest in Victorian real estate according to an annual report for 2012-2013. Not one was rejected. On Wednesday 19 March 2014 the Treasurer, The Hon Joe Hockey MP, asked the Economics Committee to inquire into and report on Australia's foreign investment policy as it applies to residential real estate.
Although the date for submissions seems to have passed, the committee is still receiving them. Since most submissions have come from professional organisations with a financial interest in promoting more houses, there is a great need for members of the public who cannot afford housing to make submissions. Submissions