April 24 2010
Assistant Treasurer Nick Sherry announced in late April a tightening of the rules for foreign investment as they relate to residential real estate, and a package of tough new civil penalty, compliance, monitoring and enforcement measures.
All temporary residents seeking to purchase an existing property in Australia will now be brought within the Foreign Investment and Review Board (FIRB) notification, screening and approval process.
Temporary residents buying vacant land must cmmmence building within 24 months and will also be required to sell residential property when they leave Australia.
Enforcement measures include, community hotlines, more penalties introduced, and pressure brought to bear on real estate agents to check on the legitimacy of sales.
The Assistant Treasurer said he was responding to community pressure over rising housing prices and the measures were aimed at increasing the housing supply.