Real estate buy? Better be legal, else suffer consequences.

This has been mentioned a few times and it’s now being more strictly enforced. Foreign buyers of Australian properties MUST get the Australian government’s permission. It is a requirement that all foreigners must seek approval from the government’s Foreign Investment Review Board before they could purchase properties in Australia. There are also restrictions to the type of properties that foreigners could buy which I think is one key reason why some chose to ‘skip this process.’ Those who did not get formal approval would be punished through forced sale of the properties they bought.

Reported in The Malay Mail, a forced sale of 16 properties bought by foreigners without government approval has been conducted. Majority of the buyers were Chinese nationals but it includes a few Malaysian interests as well. Of course, it did not start recently. In fact, as at 2013, 46 properties worth a total A$93 million (RM290 million) has been sold and most of these belonged to Chinese interests. One major reason for this is political. In fact foreign buyers are usually blamed as a major cause for property price increase causing locals to suffer from high property prices. Earlier, some Londoners were also blaming foreigners for pushing up the property prices in London. Read here: Londoners homeless, Malaysian caused?

This is the actual comment of a famous personality in the Australian political circle. Far-right political leader Pauline Hanson last week said that “any foreign ownership is regrettable.” She further singled out Chinese investment and land ownership as unwanted. Why is she a famous personality? Do google her name and read her stories throughout the years. How she rose to prominence and later lost in subsequent elections and is now a leader of ONE Nation.

Honestly, the vibrancy of the Australian property market is because of firm interests from FOREIGNERS as well and not just sparked by the locals themselves. To those Australians who managed to sell their properties for a good price and the developers who continue to build because they have buyers from overseas, they need to also say a few words. If property investments from foreigners are also politicised too much and the foreigners feel that other places are more welcoming, rest assured they would go there instead. As of now, within the developed property markets alone, Australia is not the only choice available. Happy buying and please, follow the rules.

written on 19 Sept 2016

Next suggested article:  Melbourne’s median house price is now $740,995

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