:: The FIRB (Foreign Investment Review Board) have been actively making an example of property owners that have been flouting the law recently and they are not taking it lightly. Interestingly, out of the 46 forced divestures, 25 of these have been self-divested so they are, it appears, inherently guilty. Unlike the very first sale that was forced under the former Federal Treasurer, Joe Hockey, where that property was a Sydney Harbour trophy home, there have been a range of sub-$1 million properties forcefully sold (with 10% interest paid to the government I might add); It appears that ‘buying into Australia’ is no longer reserved for the elite. :: MC ::
There are nine Melbourne properties worth $8.6 million are up for sale because foreign investors bought them illegally.
Chinese buyers must sell a luxury five-bedroom home at Caserta Drive Berwick, bought in 2014 for $1.6 million, according to the Herald Sun. It sits on 8362sq m.
The properties also include a $2 million two-storey home in Brookfield bought by a Chinese buyer in the ATO/FIRB crackdown on breaches of foreign investment laws.
Treasurer Scott Morrison announced today the sale of 16 properties in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, worth more than $14 million. The dearest in Sydney was a York Street, Sydney apartment owned by a UK investor.
The most expensive property on the list was the $1.68 million apartment in the Sydney CBD owned by a UK national.
Two properties in Manly worth $1.6 million and $1.1 million were also in breach, owned by Canadian nationals.
The purchase price of 46 residential properties divested during the past three years total $92 million plus.
Since last December, foreigners who buy real estate outside the rules lose any profit from the forced sale. There will also be a penalty of 10 per cent of the purchase price.
Mr Morrison said at least 25 investors had self-divested, which showed a change in behaviour.
In Melbourne, Chinese purchasers of homes in Melton ($950,000), Wantirna ($576,000) and Blackburn ($885,000) have been found to have bought them illegally. A Malaysian owner of two properties, each worth more than $600,000, must also put them on the market.
“The foreign investors either purchased established residential property without Foreign Investment Review Board approval, or had approval but their circumstances changed, meaning they were breaking the rules,” Mr Morrison said.