Australia also plans to fine and even jail foreigners who violate rules to purchase existing homes instead of new launch residential properties or buildings under construction.
Real estate prices in Australia have skyrocketed over the years, especially in Melbourne and Sydney, with growing concerns that cash rich foreign buyers, particularly those from China, have inevitably inflated the market greatly. In order to protect their own domestic market, the Australian government has new laws to punish foreigners illegally buying Australian real estate of up to three years imprisonment or fines of A$135,500 for foreign individuals and A$675,000 for foreign companies.
New civil penalties supporting divestment orders and ensuring people who break the rules do not profit from their actions also come into effect, including forfeiting any capital gains made on divestment of a property and fines for third parties who knowingly assist foreign investors to break the rules.For the first time, fees on foreign investment applications will also be levied. Australia also tightened scrutiny and transparency on foreign ownership of agricultural production amid concerns of valuable assets going to foreigners, therefore foreign buyers must be screened by the national regulator.