Overseas buyers and investors of Australian residential property could soon be charged, according to comments from the country’s Prime Minister.
Tony Abbott said the fees and associated fines will bring his country into line with places such as Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore.
“The idea is not to deter foreign investment, the idea is to ensure that the rules are enforced,” he told the media.
Home buyers from overseas would be charged A$5,000 for properties valued under A$1 million under the scheme, and an additional A$10,000 for every additional A$1 million, Treasurer Joe Hockey said on Wednesday.
The move is widely seen as an attempt to improve affordability for Australians.
A register of foreign nationals who buy Australian real estate will also be established, and those who break the law would face a fine up to a quarter of the value of the property and could be forced to sell, according to reports in the Australian media.
Hockey added that foreign ownership of real estate “… raises significant issues ranging from national security to potential criminal activity, money laundering and a range of other things”.