Expats in Australia face being forced to sell property when they leave

by Ray Clancy on April 27, 2010

Expats and foreign investors buying property in Australia face tighter rules and being forced to sell real estate when they leave the country.

The government is prepared to introduce penalties to enforce the changes in a move that is designed to keep property prices down amid fears that wealthy foreign buyers are pricing ordinary Australians out of the market.

Temporary residents will require approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board to buy property, and will have to sell when leaving the country, Assistant Treasurer Nick Sherry confirmed. The tighter rules will also apply to people on student visas.

The removal of restrictions in late 2008 made it easier for foreigners to buy property without government approval. But surging real estate prices, up 12% in the last 12 months, are thought to be being fuelled by overseas buyers.

‘We want to make sure that foreign speculators are not going to force up prices for Australians seeking to buy their own home, buy their first home, and we think this is the right course of action,’ said prime minister Kevin Rudd.

There will be compliance, monitoring and enforcement measures including civil penalties. These include compulsory sales of property purchased in breach of the new investment regime, Sherry said.

David Airey, president of the Real Estate Institute of Australia, is among those blaming gains in property prices on an increase in investment from overseas buyers. But others say the claims are ridiculous. Overseas purchasers accounted for about 0.62% of transactions by real estate agency LJ Hooker in 2009, according to the firm’s business analyst David Maher.

‘Claims that overseas buyers are pricing people out of the market are ridiculous. There’d have to be a mammoth increase in the level of overseas investment to have any real effect on affordability in the Australian market. The numbers don’t show that,’ he explained.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tony May 5, 2010 at 11:24 pm

I’m disappointed in the Expat Form submisison. The “Brit-expat disposing of property” had that most annoying spin to try to make it appear that expat Brits were being singled out and “faced” being forced to sell their property. This reminiscent of the “honesty” of the Rupert Murdoch (Bilderberger) press and all those others who “kept silent for…years otherwise we would not have been able to advance the cause for one world government (by bankers) as far as we have (the public would have engaged in massive protest) …and later circa 1994 “what we need now is a massive catastrophe to accelerate the coming new order (that was the deliberately contrived and completely uncessary, “global melt down”..Rockefeller (my quotes are accurate memory if not word for word) and Robert Maxwell one who (of many) notably spied for Israel…actually when you get down to it the media services overall are an area of institutionalised lying. LLet’s keep Expat forum standards higher.By the way it’s going to get easier to lie and manufacture with compulsory digital TV, changing analogue reports requires a lot more work especially in TV but will now be simple to even manufacture etire reports using images. I connect the two…the coming new order which has been based on lies from the outset in 1740 and which will benefit from cheap “creativity” . Australians have been herded like sheep, without a bleat into compulsory digital TV without a single compelling reason (other than money) on the lie that “with Digital it’s better than analogue ..you either have reception or you don’t”..well that’s not true is it, picture breakup at critical times is commonplace.The fact that either you BUY a new TV or a set-top modem or “it’s all over for you” is arrogance of the first water…but fits in precisely with the new world order currently training us in its techniques and disciplines in Iraq and Afghanistan notably. The Bush campaing supported by countries which included Australia where “man of iron” Howard hounded a whistleblower from the public service who exposed truths on Iraq and where the Government still loudly applauds the atr0cities in Palestine and elsewhere using such facile excuses for demonisation invasion torture starvation and mass murder as ” entitled to self protection”.The tragedy is that we think this brutality is only for “the Arabs and Muslims”.

My deviation was to come back to this point …could we have from the expat forum at all times, the truth and also headlines which are exactly pertinent to it.


once a jolly swagman May 6, 2010 at 1:24 am

The report on Australia’s “crackdown” on British property owners isn’t quite correct. Let’s go back beyond the present government reasoning to when I was a child, a teenager and a young man. Australia had a wonderful crown land auction system where one could cheaply buy land in areas they decided to expand or develop, or perhaps rural property. The conditon was a building to be commenced within 3 years. By the time I was 19 it was still running but some problems were arising. Chinese buyers in particular as well as some exploitive builders were pushing up prices through their wealth enabling covetousness to be satisfied and by builders looking for spec building blocks. This was not ‘occasional”. The chinese (notably) and builders were buying in all sorts of names. I could expand into quite a long history of the way Australians have suffered under their governments’ ill thought through, partial, half baked immigration schemes. Massive immigration scams through Vanuatu and New Zealand have been somewhat obfuscated by the political focus on “boat people” ..a comparatively overrt and comparatively comprehensible scam. I can on the other hand understand the opportune buying of land and property in Australia. What the government is dealing with in the article at hand is the disadvantages perceived through exploitation. The every-day Australian has a fatal flaw…he suffers from hyperbole and media indoctrination and has little idea of what the world is actually about and so recites jingoistic meda mantras…. whilst many immigrant people who have suffered or had to survive in oppressive situations, upheaval situations, or ones where some nasty organism closely controls business opportunity. These survivirs find business situations which work because their village concepts and survival devices make Australia a dreamland. Unfortunately some of the criminality Australians think they helped them to escape comes with them Europe faces this since communism “collapsed” and in a far worse system for them they cannot survive and are spreadng throughout Europe escalating ‘crime” whilst “exploiters are selling up real or fictitious properties throughout the old USSR.( I add that the owners of the Russian central bank since the 1917 revolution also own the US federal reserve and both control foreign policy…so ponder that travesty we have been exposed to for political purposes.)Then there is another type whose organisms are dedicated to exploitaiton of Australia and these are “the filthy rich” investors whose greatest hope for Australia is inflation of prices…they can sell and move their money out. The government then is saying “if you are an immigrant you have all the rights of Australians but if you are an overseas investor or a short term stayer who buys land for possible “later use” or speculation then this is affecting prices for Australians and we require you to dispossess when exiting the country. In fact the simplest method would be to deny the purchase of land or housing for speculation and that isn’t an impossible situation at all. One needs only to look at the chagrin of the French seeing price rises, renttal rises and a noticeable immigrant impressing on their culture. Sure good things come from buyers who do places up, and I have noticed in France much expansion of supermarches and quincailleries from immigration incomes but I have also noticed a vast increase in scammers..mostly English “real estate agents” and lousy workmanship from the same nationality. There are I add also some good tradesmen scattered about. The French are resisting assault they feel from Americans, English, Germans, Dutch, USSR illegals and overwhelming immigration and outlay of money for the nationals of some of the African countries they ought to have dumped a hundred years ago. On the other hand…they could simply refuse visas to the Sengalise, Burkino’s , Algeroians, Moroccans and so on. The French pasport could be withdrawn. They could cut all ties with these countries. The problem is that behind this world wide illegal immigration lies a political goal and also there are commercial organisms running flat out to have people exploit the poorer nations’ land and beaches, business and medical services pension advantages in their “seminars” and real property deals. They don’t give a toss that the less advantaged locals eventuality will be unable to afford the better quality services they were instrumental in seeing introduced.

Your article makes quite clear what the Australian Government is trying to achieve as it blunders and careers like a gas discharging balloon, through Australian society.It is trying to stop exploitaiton by non Australians. Much of that exploitation recently came from price increases as opportunistic vendors and agents demanded increased prices owing to “first home buyer” assistance among other things the Government handled badly.They should simply go back to the system we had where all interest paid on the place in which you live is tax deductibleand I would add to that that all property bought for speculation such a rental…a terrible investment when capital gain is stagnant unless you have a tax problem…once sold can never again be used as rental property with tax deductions. By getting rid of the advantages, and almost unfit to live in pigsty rentals will then be forced to see their value in its true light, the prices will fall to the levels
people can better afford.but is not a good system.The idea of “open market forces” driving us is not only a menace and I reiterate, speculative buying of Australian property should be outlawed..and in my view this year should see it happening. Australia has to reinforce itself with the best things of its past to go forward.As in Astralia the destabilisation of the world through the sell up of national land and resources is a significant cause of tension an debt impoverishment
and misery.

So if you are a Brit (or an eskimo) who takes a trip to Australia to speculate in housing or land you will be resisted. If you are a Brit (or an eskimo) who wants to come and contribute and buy a home to live in, you will suffer no disdvantage.

For the article to infer otherwise is simply untrue. How do brits feel about rich individuals or companies or other speculators buying up their heritage and housing and being significant in levering up prices. In closing those who say “rubbish” to that idea should look at suburbs where non Australian nationals have largely taken over districts and where one has to be polylingual to understand the shopping centre. Chatswood,Mosman,Roseville and that line.. wealthy Asian and Chinese crying poor when they want to buy and asking tops when selling….people move out because they feel
alienated (a direct blame I place on government doing nothing to involve everyday Australians in decisions and in learning other cultures…but having the ear of grateful “community leaders” is a cheap voting pool)…Granville Auburn Parramatta competing Arabs and Asians..one could go on for pages. The problem now is that successive post WW11 governments in having tried to appear to be a part of it all and telling lies on a massive scale about unemployment and having handed pover the economy to the open market sysytems which favour money creation and then “fine-tuning “the country by reserve bank manipulations instead of acting to stabilise prices using means which obstruct covetousness …rather than act with courage and morals. They seem incapable of standing up to “business”..perhaps because of the Masonic Lodge loyalties and the control by a world wide recognised pseudo religious finance controller which worships wealth and power. Instead of formulating a soluiton and acting on it they fid it safer to continue ignoring the destruction of Australia’s young peoples’ (and the rest of us I guess also affected) hopes and dreams, shoehorning them into apartments instead of homes, seeing them crack up under reserve bank ruthlessness and cultivated ignorence…My own daughter was one. She was collapsing periodically at work after 13 interets rate increases and eventually I said “sell up and get out before it’s to late…it’s not worth dying over “…and she was lucky to do that as instead of 13 competitive local homes sitting unsold she faced 48 when it sold…at a loss .

In the meantime the government is approving the massive sell off of Australian non-renewable energy sources for a pittance to China in particular. They’d sell anything under you over you or alongside you. Now its coal seam gasspread across agricultural land. The Australian Government seems determined to sell off all forms of polluting energy before acting on climate change. There is no idea of the future in 100 years time becuase they are pretending the ‘assets” have 200 years to extinction. Public assets have been privatised for massive losses to Australians since the world wide dictum stared in the 1988 approx. Tech colleges are going to the dogs because of “education privatisation and competition” when in fact it has been a blundering sellout.

So…let’s not have this knee-jerk reaction to a simple idea…if you want to come permanently to Australia and her massive advantages and buy a home and contribute, fine. If you come to speculate….or do so by any means you will be divested (at least while the Government is on the boil.

Is that so “anti Brit” or “Anti anyone else” I don’t think so and I do believe the stability of the entire world is being threatened in a desperate fear of what is “coming”and where we see, after a superannuation incompetence on a massive scale world wide and an American commencement of it …one which could have been, indisputabley, repaired immediately at a minor cost in USA alone so the world was not plunged by compliant governments into chaos. How much longer are we going to permit the filty rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer?…if this cut off in hpousing speculation now assists in stabilising and lowering prices then can be commenced a new housing scheme which gives every Australian the very viable opportunity to won a home themselves.


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