Foreign applications to invest in Australian real estate have significantly decreased, according to the Foreign Investment Review Board of Australia's recently issued annual report.

One unexpected development is that Queensland, which accounts for 21% of investment approvals, has moved up the popularity rankings to now place second to Victoria's 37%. With only 17% of investment approvals, the historically dominant New South Wales fell to third place, leaving Daniel Ho, co-founder and group managing director of Juwai IQI, to wonder: "Is Queensland becoming the new first state of Australia at the expense of New South Wales?"

"It is now more difficult to finance a purchase in Australia, foreign investment application fees are more than previously, and foreign buyer stamp taxes are still expensive," he said.