It seems the Australian Government has foreign investors at the forefront of its agenda with the recent introduction of steep application fees, with individual applications for the acquisition of property (including previously exempted commercial properties) commencing at $5,000.00 per lot (if the purchase price is under $1Million), and increasing to $10,000.00 for properties over $1Million and increasing by an additional $10,000.00 for each extra million dollars in the property value.
In relation to developers, prior to the introduction of these changes, blanket approvals were able to be obtained at no cost in respect of developments which have over 100 apartments and for which a development permit was held, with subsequent foreign purchasers being released from having to apply to the Foreign Investment Review Board for separate approval.
However, under the new regime, it is proposed that the blanket approval fee commences at $25,000.00. In addition to the fee of $25,000.00, every six (6) months the developer must provide to the FIRB a report of all sales made to foreign persons, and pay an additional fee per lot, calculated at the same rate as that described above (i.e. $5,000.00 per lot under $1Million, increasing in increments).
It is important to be aware of these changes especially if you are a foreign person contemplating the purchase of property in Australia, or if you are a developer who may need to update and amend existing contracts to ensure the changes are reflected in your documents.
Affinity Lawyers on the Gold Coast is well placed to assist you with any enquiries you may have in relation to this area so please do not hesitate to contact our office on 07 5563 8970 to discuss your individual circumstances at your earliest convenience.