Addressing the House of Representatives’ Standing Committee on Economics inquiry into foreign investment in residential property, Nyko Property director Bill Nikolouzakis said such investment was positive for the Australian economy, and that the current policy framework was fundamentally correct to ensure there were no abuses of the system.
“From our experience, there is a degree of misunderstanding around foreign investment in residential real estate, and if this committee’s report only serves to clarify all the issues then it will have achieved a worthwhile goal,” Mr Nikolouzakis said.
“In our opinion, this misunderstanding and in some instances, the misreporting of what is and isn’t permissible in terms of foreign investment in residential property, has the potential to damage a valuable source of investment in what is a $4.75 trillion industry,” he said.
Mr Nikolouzakis said that although much of the focus on overseas investment into Australia had been on China, Indonesia was an emerging market that not only offered immediate economic benefits but had the potential to help nurture one of Australia’s most important foreign relationships.
Melbourne-based Nyko Property licensed its business name in Indonesia in March this year and had given a local agent the right to distribute the group’s properties in Indonesia.
Nyko’s principals have since held a property seminar in Jakarta, where they witnessed first-hand the interest in the Australian market and have now committed to opening offices in Jakarta and Surabaya.
“It is a market, we believe, that has real potential in terms of attracting foreign investment into Australia because of the high demand there for good quality investment properties,” Mr Nikolouzakis said.
Mr Nikolouzakis also said fears the overseas investment was “crowding out” local buyers simply did not accord with the facts.