Money & Markets

The ATO has forced 300 foreign buyers to sell their Australian property

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Foreign buyers have been forced to sell $380 million of Australian property since new restrictions were implemented in 2015.

According to the office of federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg, the crackdown has resulted in forced sales of 316 properties.

“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 government said.

Source: Australian Government

The foreign buyers came from at 10 different countries including China, India, the US, UK and Germany.

The average value of confiscated properties in Victoria was $1.13 million, compared to an average of $1.8 million in NSW.

Since the government granted the Australian Tax Office increased powers for real estate compliance in 2015, the number of forced sales has increased each year.

The measures — which came into effect on December 1, 2015 — saw the ATO take on responsibility for the enforcement of the Foreign Acquisition and Takeover Act, including the screening of foreign buyer applications.

As a result, 54 properties were subjected to a forced sale in the 2015/16 financial year, then another 96 in 2016/17 followed by 131 properties in the year ended June 2018.

Over that time, the ATO has issued 1500 penalty notices to foreign buyers who had either:

In conjunction with increased government oversight of the sector, the number of foreign buyers in Australia’s housing market has decreased significantly, falling to a new multi-year low in the September quarter.

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