Forget Queensland's Sunshine Coast or the NSW Central Coast, Bali could become the next retirement hotspot for cashed-up Australians.

That comes as Jakarta relaxes rules allowing foreigners to buy luxury apartments in Indonesia coming into effect later this year.

But, it won't be a free-for-all. The  Indonesian government plans to set conditions, including size restrictions, and property that stands on its own block of land won't be included, meaning palm tree-shaded Balinese villas won't be included.

Instead the government wants to steer foreign buyers into apartments in new high-rise projects as part of plans to revive growth in South East Asia's biggest economy.

Bali remains the nation's favourite holiday destination despite a recent tourism backlash following the executions of drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. Many Australians also hold ambitions of buying a holiday pad on the resort island.

Ray White chairman Brian White described the news as "wonderful" and tipped many Australians to take up the opportunity to own a small piece of island paradise.

"As people get to retirement age, they want to know where they can get the best bang for their buck, not just in terms of property, but in terms of lifestyle and cost of living. Asian countries score highly.

"Lot of Australians have moved to Thailand and Malaysia. The number of Australians visiting our offices in Bali suggest similar appetite for real estate, but the current ownership structure could not be more unattractive," he said.

Under current rules only Indonesians can own freehold property. Foreigners can get around these restrictions by using local citizens as proxies or by structuring the purchase as a long-term lease. 

Co-ordinating Economic Minister Sofyan Djalil said the regulations would allow foreigners to own an apartment with a value of more than Rp 5 billion ($509,000).

"If people from developed nations want to retire here or spend their winters here, then that will create jobs and boost spending power," Djalil said. "It will make the property market live again."

The relaxation of restrictions will also benefit developers with exposure to high-rise projects.

with Bloomberg

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