Treasurer Joe Hockey announced the forced sale of the properties on the weekend after it was revealed that the owners had either bought the properties without approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) or no longer meet ownership requirements after a change in circumstances after legally purchasing the properties.
The six properties, valued between $152,000 and $1.86 million are owned by five different investors who voluntarily identified themselves to authorities under a current amnesty period that grants them 12 months to sell the properties and exemption from a referral for criminal prosecution.
“The five different orders relate to six established properties, with one investor owning two properties,” Hockey said.
“One investor owns two properties that are in Kewdale, a suburb of Perth in Western Australia,” he said.
“A further investor owns a property in Eight Mile Plains, a suburb on the outskirts of Brisbane.
“There are three investors in NSW that have been ordered to sell their properties in Eastwood, Fairfield and Mosman which are suburbs of Sydney.”
The Australian Taxation Office took control of investigations into properties owned illegally by foreign investors in May and Hockey said it is currently investigating 462 possible breaches after an extensive data matching process by a number of government bodies.
"I expect more divestment orders will be announced in the not too distant future,” Hockey said
“I once again warn foreign investors in residential real estate that they must comply with Australian law.”