"Chinatown"-Official media of Chinese Australians

The Australian government is speeding up its crackdown on illegal property purchases by foreign investors. Treasury Secretary Hawke is expected to once again order a foreign buyer to sell luxury residences for a limited time, this time allegedly in Perth, the capital of Western Australia. The real estate industry insiders judged that the illegal purchase of existing homes by foreign buyers is not limited to Sydney, and may exist in large numbers in Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and other places.

ACB News "Australia Finance Online" reported that a spokesperson for the Australian Finance Minister said on the 27th that "we are currently investigating many properties, not just in Sydney. There will be more actions in the future." The Australian Foreign Investment Regulations stipulate that overseas residents can only purchase new houses in Australia, not existing ones, and the new round of enforcement actions is expected to place as many as 9 houses under the "microscope".

The Sydney luxury villa, Villa del Mare, purchased by an affiliate of China Evergrande Real Estate for AU$3900 million was ordered to be sold within 90 days for violating foreign-invested housing regulations, and was then taken over by a Chinese Australian resident for AU$4100 million. This is the first time the Australian government has publicly cracked down on illegal property purchases by foreign buyers. There was news this week that Australian Treasury Secretary Hawke will announce a new penalty resolution soon. The second set of properties that hit a gun is also worth tens of millions and is located in Perth.

According to insiders in the real estate industry, there may be a large number of cases of illegal property purchases by foreign investors. In addition to Sydney, there are also many cases of illegal property purchases in Melbourne. Many buyers may not comply with foreign investment regulations. This situation is most prominent in Toorak district. Some intermediaries describe this: Some local properties have been on the market for two years, waiting for buyers to patronize them, but sometimes they are suddenly taken by overseas buyers at a price 20% higher than the market price.

In Brisbane, a person in charge of real estate agency Johnston Dixon Quality Property said there may be thousands of cases of illegal property purchases. Judging from the number of Chinese buyers and the possible violations in the capital cities in the south, there are many cases in Queensland, especially the Gold Coast.

Except for individual cases, the scope of the investigation of foreign-invested housing has been extended to real estate trusts. Allegedly, a foreign holding trust spent A$4000 million to purchase a luxury house in Sydney that has caused an investigation by the Australian Taxation Office. There is only one Australian resident in the trustee of the trust, and judging from the legal documents involved in the earlier transaction, the ultimate owner of the house is a Chinese resident.

According to the new regulations announced in early May, foreign investment supervision and compliance enforcement in the real estate sector will be taken over by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The Australian government has given a grace period. Investors who automatically report before the end of November will be given one year to transfer their houses and be exempt from criminal penalties.

The Australian Taxation Office intends to use big data comparison technology to compare the details of real estate transactions with tax information to find possible foreign investment in illegal property purchases. It is said that about 150 suspicious cases have been targeted.

Article reprinted from ACB News "Australia Finance Online"

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