Date
23 November 2017
Australia is trying to curb foreign investment in the country's residential property market, which has fueled home prices in many cities beyond the reach of many domestic homebuyers. Photo: WSJ
Australia is trying to curb foreign investment in the country's residential property market, which has fueled home prices in many cities beyond the reach of many domestic homebuyers. Photo: WSJ

Australia orders Chinese firm to sell Sydney mansion

The Australian government has ordered the sale of a waterfront mansion in Sydney which it says was illegally bought by Chinese investors last year.

Treasurer Joe Hockey gave Golden Fast Foods, the Australian unit of Hong Kong-listed Evergrande Real Estate Group, up to 90 days to find a buyer for the house, located in the posh suburb of Point Piper, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

Hockey said the Evergrande unit, which bought the house for A$39 million (US$31 million) in November, failed to meet regulatory requirements that govern foreign investment in Australia’s property market.

A spokesman for Evergrande said in a statement the company “will fully cooperate with the arrangements of the Australian authorities to ensure compliance with legal provisions”.

The government has clamped down on the surge of foreign investment in the country’s real estate market, which has fueled home prices in many cities beyond the reach of many Australians.

Wealthy Asian buyers are said to be willing to pay a lot more than domestic buyers for property they are interested in.

Chinese investment in Australian real estate climbed to a record last year, helping fuel a 14.3 percent growth in Sydney house prices.

Last week, Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s government pledged to control foreign investment in the country’s residential property market by raising fees and imposing heavy fines for those who violate the rules, the report said.

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