10/12/2018 - 12:08

Govt sells $48m of foreign-owned property in WA

10/12/2018 - 12:08

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The federal government has forced the sale of 30 properties in Western Australia worth nearly $50 million, which were illegally acquired by foreign nationals since 2015.

Govt sells $48m of foreign-owned property in WA
The 30 properties sold in WA had a combined value of $47.5 million.

The federal government has forced the sale of 30 properties in Western Australia worth nearly $50 million, which were illegally acquired by foreign nationals since 2015.

The action is part of a national sell-off of more than 300 Australian properties for $381 million.

The Commonwealth gave the Australian Taxation Office responsibility for residential real estate compliance in 2015.

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

The 30 properties sold in WA had a combined value of $47.5 million, for an average price of about $1.5 million.

The majority were in Victoria, which recorded 144 forced sales of property valued in excess of $162 million, giving an average price of $1.1 million.

NSW registered 73 sales for $131.7 million while Queensland had 64 worth $36.9 million.

The foreign owners come from a range of countries including China, the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, India, the US, 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.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said foreign nationals needed to play by the rules.

“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,” he said.

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