Foreign property investors to face “ghost house tax”

Adam Smith 2 May 2017

houses and coins1Foreign investors who leave properties vacant will be hit with a new tax as part of this month’s budget.

Sky News has reported that the government will introduce a “ghost house tax” of as much as $5,000. The tax will apply to foreign investors who leave properties vacant, and will be part of the conditions imposed on foreign buyers by the Foreign Investment Review Board, Sky News said.

The new levy will be part of the government’s initiatives to address housing affordability. Treasurer Scott Morrison has told reporters in Canberra that the budget use broad measures to address housing affordability, Sky News reported.

“I know that so much of the commentary and the analysis of the issue focuses on house prices in Sydney. I’m just as concerned about someone on low incomes living in Hobart who can’t afford their rent, or in Adelaide or in Perth or Darwin or Townsville,” Morrison said.

Home value growth stalls

Morrison argued that issues faced by homebuyers in markets like Sydney were nothing new.

“If you live in Sydney it’s been like that for generations. My grandparents, all they ever know on my father’s side was renting a house in Sydney. [They] could never buy a house, so it has been a long-term issue in Sydney,” Morrison said.

Image: Shutterstock

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One Response

  1. Default Gravatar
    May 9, 2017

    Offshore property owners who own $20 million+ properties will laugh at a $5,000 pa tax. Should be scaled to value (a % of the value) and expensive properties should be taxed closer to $50,000 pa if this is a genuine attempt to fix this problem. I suggest it is likely window dressing, nothing more.
    I feel an election coming…………….

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