Treasurer Joe Hockey has told foreign investors they need to "build, build, build" in Australia rather than illegally purchasing residential property. Speaking today in Sydney, Hockey said the Foreign Investment Review Board is currently looking at 195 cases of properties ranging in price from $300,000 to over $40 million.
“In one case, there is an owner who is being investigated as a foreign citizen owning 10 properties across two states, ranging in value from $300,000 to $1.4 million,” said Hockey. “These are existing properties – not new properties, so it narrows the field of available real estate. The message is clear. Build, build, build – we want Australia to have more housing stock, and foreign investment does help, but not when it comes to existing real estate."
The Treasurer also told foreign investors to "come forward" if they had unlawfully purchased residential property in Australia. Hockey said he expected the proposed laws where foreign buyers and those who participate in illegal property sales face new penalties including fines of more than $100,000 or up to three years’ jail to pass through the House of Representatives on August 19 and to come into effect on December 1.