Agents call for crackdown on foreign ownership

by Olivia D'Orazio05 May 2015
Agents concerned with the levels of foreign ownership in Canada are pointing to a model used in Australia to keep the market from overheating.
“I think it’s something to consider because real estate is meant to serve local (populations), serve people who live in Canada,” says David Oey, an agent in Toronto, adding that an increase in foreign ownership could create a speculative market.
The government in Australia has imposed an application fee for non-Australians looking to purchase property. Those fees start at AUD $5,000 for properties up to AUD $1 million in price, and get even steeper for higher-end properties.
Buyers who flout those rules, however, could face fines up to AUD $127,500 or up to three years in jail.
According to the New York Times, Tony Abbott, the Australian prime minister, told reporters in Sydney the new law is an effort to keep real estate affordable for nationals.
“We want to ensure that illegal foreign investment is not unnecessarily driving up prices,” he said. “We want to maximize the opportunities for Australians to buy a home at the best possible price.”

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