Yes, you most certainly can purchase property in the US as a foreign national. As a matter of fact the US government encourages foreign investment and places no restrictions on the purchase of residential property.
There is, however, one restriction for the sale of property owned by a foreign national that requires 10% of the sale price to be held back until all taxes have been paid. The balance is then returned to the seller.
Yes, as the other agents have mentioned, Australian citizens are certainly allowed to buy real estate in the USA, and now is an excellent time purchase. This is due to not only the recent decline in property values here, but also the favorable exchange rate.. Following is an article you may find useful regarding this topic:
I am an agent with Coldwell Banker here in Los Angeles - our company has a global presence and we have over 30 locations in Australia.. If you are interested in finding out more of what is available, please email me at email@example.com, and I would be more that happy to chat with you & help you further.
Cheers, hope you have a wonderful day!
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sherman Oaks, CA