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