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Big changes for foreign investment

Date Posted: May, 2015

By Rich Harvey, CEO, propertybuyer.com.au

Foreign investment in Australian property isn't just a great way for overseas buyers to secure a purchase that will generate wealth – it's something that has a lot of benefits for Australians themselves. For example, in a 30 April media release, Property Council of Australia Chief Executive Ken Morrison said that for every new property bought by a foreign investor, another four homes can be built locally. 

And given what I've said about how we need to address supply, this can only be a good thing. The government appears to see this as well – in a new release, some changes have been made to the foreign investment framework. This should encourage more people to buy Australian property, while also monitoring the system a little more closely.

What exactly is changing?

In a May 2 release from Prime Minister Tony Abbott's office, these reforms were fleshed out. The Australian Taxation Office will be handling residential real estate transactions that may have broken the rules, and the financial penalties have been increased for investment that doesn't comply with Australian law.

This can be as much as $127,500 or three years imprisonment for individuals, and $637,500 for companies. On top of this, you can be forced to sell your property – as occurred recently when Treasurer Joe Hockey ordered the resale of a Point Piper luxury property

Further fees of $5,000 will be paid by overseas house hunters for the screening process – and more if you purchase a home priced at more than $1million.

If you're a foreign investor, it's important to understand the rules and make sure you abide by them. Buying property in Australia is a fantastic opportunity, and staying within the guidelines allows you to make the most of the incredible growth that's on offer. 

How will you work with the changes?

In the prime minister's media release, it was noted that the foreign investment framework for Australian property would work with integrity and provide great benefits for the national housing stock. Working with these changes as a foreign investor requires care and the right advice.

As local experts and Australia's most awarded buyers' agency, we at PropertyBuyer provide a deep level of understanding of the market that you're unlikely to find anywhere else – the perfect advocate for the foreign investor.

Brokers, inspectors, property managers, solicitors and more can all be facilitated by working with our agency, and our expertise means you won't struggle to comply with these changes to the framework. Too often, I see foreign investors stuck in red tape, or paying far more than they need to. Get in touch with us for ease of mind and ease of purchase.