News National Crack down on foreign buyers
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Crack down on foreign buyers

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The federal government is vowing to clamp down on foreign nationals illegally purchasing residential real estate in Australia.

Speaking on Saturday, Treasurer Joe Hockey said he was working to toughen up laws in the area.

“Foreign investors are not allowed to own existing Australian residential real estate without approval,” Mr Hockey told reporters in Sydney.

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“There have been abuses of this process. We are going to toughen up the laws to go after those people who are breaking our laws and remaining foreign citizens owning existing Australian residential real estate.”

Under current laws, foreign nationals must get approval from the government to buy a home in Australia.

Approval is not normally granted for the purchase of houses, flats or units that have been previously occupied.

Mr Hockey said he would also soon announce the introduction of an agricultural land register, and a requirement for all purchases of such to be subject to “approval over a certain financial point”.

“We are actually delivering tougher laws on foreign investment at the same time as ensuring we continue to welcome record levels of foreign investment into Australia,” he added.

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