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Foreign nationals forced to sell $380 million worth of illegally acquired real estate

Media Releases

Date : 10 December 2018

THE HON JOSH FRYDENBERG MP
Treasurer

MEDIA RELEASE

10 December 2018

FOREIGN NATIONALS FORCED TO SELL $380 MILLION WORTH OF ILLEGALLY ACQUIRED REAL ESTATE 

The Coalition Government has forced the sale of more than 300 Australian properties, worth in excess of $380 million, that were illegally acquired by foreign nationals.

This is the result of the Government’s commitment to enforcing our rules, since giving the Australian Taxation Office responsibility for residential real estate compliance in 2015, and ensuring that foreign nationals illegally holding Australian real estate are held to account.

In total, 316 properties across every state were sold by foreign nationals in breach of the rules following ATO compliance action, from 2015 to October 31 this year.

The overwhelming majority are in Victoria, which recorded 144 forced sales of property valued in excess of $162 million, followed by New South Wales with 73 and Queensland with 64.

The foreign owners come from a range of countries including China, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, India, the United States, Hong Kong, Italy and Germany.

The largest number of properties and value of divestments in a single year was recorded in 2017-18, with 131 properties worth $133.9 million sold by foreign nationals who had broken the rules.

In 2016-17, 96 properties valued at $96.8 million were sold, and in 2015-16, 54 properties valued at $61.5 million were sold.

Under our Government’s enhanced penalty regime the ATO has issued more than 1,500 penalty notices to people who have failed to obtain Foreign Investment Review Board approval before buying property as well as for breaching a condition of previously approved applications.

Ensuring foreign nationals play by the rules is part of the Government’s plan for a stronger economy.

*Value ($m) is the purchase price value

 

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