Government cracks down on foreign real estate owners

Fifteen properties across Victoria and Queensland with a combined purchase of over $14 million are being sold as part of a government crackdown on foreign real estate owners from countries including China, Iran, and Germany.

Foreign nationals who illegally held Australian property would be identified and their illegal holdings relinquished as part of the forced sale of around $100 million worth of property. Foreign investors from Germany, the United Kingdom, and Asia made up the owners of the 15 latest properties resettled, as well as the 36 recent sales over the course of the Australian Taxation Office's (ATO's) investigations.

Those who had purchased property in Australia without Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval had been identified through data matching programs and public assistance. This would see even approved property holders subject to new FIRB conditions, which would result in prosecution if broken.

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Close to 600 foreign nationals were found to have breached rules, which had resulted in self-disposals and forced sales.

The government would move forward with the continuation of its policy to channel foreign investment into new occupancies to secure additional jobs for Australians in the construction industry, and bolster economic growth.




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Comments

Comments

The average penalty for these illegal transactions is a joke.

The average fine was about $5k despite the properties being worth about $1million each - they would have earned more than that just in capital gain. And the number of forced sales is paltry compared to what is going on - there should be thousands of forced sales, and large penalties if they truly want to stamp out this illegal activity.

And why is the FIRB approving so many applications for FIRB exemption? I can't see any good reason why foreigners should be approved to buy existing Australian residences when we have a massive housing affordability problem? New housing I could maybe excuse, but existing housing?! What a joke.

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