Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Taxing Won't Work; Malcolm Gunning, President of the Real Estate Institute of NSW, on New Foreign Investment Laws

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Taxing Won't Work; Malcolm Gunning, President of the Real Estate Institute of NSW, on New Foreign Investment Laws

Article excerpt

THE recent announcement by Prime Minister Tony Abbott regarding the taxation of foreign investment is simply bravado and grandstanding.

The measures propose that foreign investors will pay $5000 for the first million dollars. The fee rises by a further $10,000 for every extra million. The Real Estate Institute of NSW believes this sends the wrong message to investors. Furthermore, it does not address the crux of the problem.

It's important to note that the majority of foreign investors, in particular Asian investors, are very risk-averse. They don't like breaching the law, particularly in the country they're coming into. The real issue with the foreign investment market lies not in the large waterfront mansions, but rather the trading that is taking place at the lower end of the market.

We've been pressing NSW Fair Trading to look closely at what is going on at this end of the market, particularly among agents with little education and training, who are transacting properties yet have no idea about the regulations surrounding the FIRB requirements. …

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