Australia to crack down on foreign investors buying up property

The $39 million purchase of this mansion, Villa del Mare, in Sydney’s exclusive Point Piper last year was found to have been illegal. The buyer, Hong Kong businessman Xu Jianyin, was immediately forced to resell the property to an Australian buyer

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced tough new laws for foreign property investors in an effort to ‘level the playing field’ for Australian buyers.

The changes will see foreign buyers charged a $5000 fee to enter the Australian market, as well as increased fines and possible jail terms for investors who breach foreign ownership laws – and the agents who help them do so.

The stricter laws follow an investigation by the Foreign Investment Review Board into housing affordability in Australia, which partly blamed foreign buyers for inflated domestic prices.

‘The new regime will maximise opportunities for Australians, give Australian home owners confidence and a level playing field,’ Mr Abbott told reporters at a press conference in Sydney on Saturday.

‘It’s about giving locals a fair go’…

Chinese buyers splurged more than $12 billion in 2013-14, a massive increase from the comparatively paltry $5.9 billion it coughed up the year before, Fairfax reported.

The money was predominantly spent on new homes, with $16.4 billion spent on off-the-plan properties, compared to $5.73 billion the year before.

Chinese buyers truly dominated the market, spending more than twice as much as the second-place country, the United States, and third-place, Singapore.

Michael Yang, CEO of, a Chinese property website, said Australia’s economy and top schools attracted foreign buyers. Australia, he said, is seen as ‘a safe place to invest’ by overseas buyers…

Related recent posts on this problem in Canada:

Vancouver: Vacant Homes Held As Commodities By Wealthy Foreigners

Major Vancouver Property Developer Is A Chinese Corruption Suspect Wanted By Interpol

  • G

    Woo HOOOOO!!! GO Aussies! You are the best!

  • Maurixio Garcia Sanchez

    Chinese people they just want own the world and money can do anything.

    • El Martyachi

      They’ve priced most Canadians out of Vancouver in this manner.

      • Maurixio Garcia Sanchez

        Yeah you right and the whole system of law in this country dont do nothing,to stop them.

        • mauser 98

          you right …..hang them

  • Rosenmops

    They need laws like this in Canada but apparently people who will profit from the massive inflation in house prices are running the show.

  • Alain

    The problem is universal and not at all limited to the Chinese. I recall many years ago wealthy Yanks buying up property in Nova Scotia including Cape Breton resulting in driving up the real estate prices far beyond the reach of any local. The Yanks were looking for a nice vacation spot leaving the place empty the rest of the year. Before everyone jumps on the Yanks, I have seen the same thing with prime rural/agricultural properties being bought up by urbanites who drive up the price beyond what actual farmers can afford and then complain because their neighbours actually farm. I don’t know if it has changed, but PEI used to forbid anyone from outside the province buying and owning any coastal property, which was a good thing in my opinion. The reason was that residents of PEI should not be restricted from having access to the beaches on the island. I should clarify that if anyone actually moved to PEI and kept their permanent residence there, they were not discriminated against. There are now several places in BC where the same problem exist with wealthy Yanks driving up the real estate prices by paying outrageous prices for vacation property. They then proceed to complain about the native residents carrying on traditional activities such as hunting or shooting problem bears. I cannot see a solution to the problem in any free country, and I prefer not to give up my freedom.

    • Frau Katze

      It’s one thing the people are actually living in the property. In Vancouver, there are many cases where they aren’t. The place is empty.

      • Alain

        Yes, I agree that that is worse. However only residing there for vacation doesn’t make it much better, especially when they then constantly compalin about the native culture and traditions: farming and hunting in the cases I know.

        • G

          “I have seen the same thing with prime rural/agricultural properties being bought up by urbanites who drive up the price beyond what actual farmers can afford and then complain because their neighbours actually farm.”

          I’ve seen this too. Yuppie assholes who want everyone to act like a Currier and Ive’s painting and ignoring that these people are trying to make an honest living.

          Make life unpleasant enough for them to move.

  • Gettingby

    What’s wrong with a law that everybody can understand?…Only citizens can own land.