Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Doubling of Foreign Purchase of Australia Real Estate

Rick Wallace in The Australian has reported that in the first 9 months of the 2013-14 financial year, sales of Australian real estate to foreign purchasers are almost double the total of the whole of last year, and represent a record 13% of the total value of property sold.

In Victoria, the situation for first homebuyers is even worse. Purchases by overseas purchasers made up 23.2% - almost a quarter of the total value of property sold in Victoria over this period.

This information was extracted from Treasury figures and supplied to a parliamentary inquiry by RP Data.

The doubling of foreign purchases of Australian established property in the last financial year comes at the expense of first homebuyers, who are now priced out of the market.

I believe the Foreign Investment Review Board is naïve, under-resourced and doesn’t actually regard it as its mission to maintain Australian ownership of Australian real estate. Young Australians who can’t afford to buy a home are the silent victims of this neglect and indifference.

I would like to see the Parliamentary Committee find out whether foreign investors who breach the law are actually required to sell the houses they have acquired. I would also like to see the Parliamentary Committee examine what happens to house purchased by, or in the name of, overseas students – whether they really are sold after the student leaves Australia, as they are supposed to be.

The Parliamentary Committee needs to ensure that our rules are enforced and that loopholes are closed down.

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