SYDNEY, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Australia has become one of the most popular destinations for Chinese property investors, with nearly 6 billion AU dollars (5.42 billion U.S. dollars) invested by Chinese buyers in the local real estate market in the last financial year, local media reported on Monday.
Chinese nationals are estimated by some financial institutions to be buying around 12 percent of the country's new homes, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
The Australian Federal Parliament's House Economics Committee is reviewing the foreign investment laws amid fears that the local property market prices are being pushed up by overseas investors.
Kelly O'Dwyer, who chairs the House Economics Committee, told the Radio National Breakfast on Monday that the inquiry into foreign investment rules would determine whether they are still achieving the purpose, which ensures that overseas money adds to Australia's housing stock and does not push up prices for locals.
A report by global financial services firm Credit Suisse predicted that by 2020, about 18 percent new Sydney homes would be bought by Chinese buyers while in Melbourne new home market, Chinese buyer would grow to 14 percent.
Up to 44 billion AU dollars (39.7 billion U.S. dollars) of property investment is expected from Chinese investors in the seven years to 2020, the report says.