FIRB findings pushed back

Treasury has granted a six-week extension to the House of Representatives Standing Commitee on Economics-led inquiry into foreign investment in residential real estate.

The committee, led by chair Kelly O’Dwyer, was due to report findings into foreign investment by October 10. However, it won an extension until November 28 in order to better prepare results.

Speaking exclusively to Real Estate Business, Ms O’Dwyer said the extension allows the committee to undertake a more comprehensive inquiry.

“One of the key recommendations in the report is to undertake direct consultation with the various states and territories,” Ms O’Dwyer said, adding they intend to be as comprehensive as necessary in looking into the issues surround foreign investment in Australian real estate.

In an earlier statement, Ms O’Dwyer said a number of outstanding issues central to its deliberations need to be answered before preparing the final report.

“These include pending answers to questions from a number of witnesses, consultations with the states and territories regarding their transfer of property registers and legal advice on Australia’s international obligations,” Ms O’Dwyer said.

The REIA’s latest submission to the inquiry on foreign investment highlighted the importance the government had in better monitoring and regulating foreign investment in Australian real estate. The REIA estimates 85 per cent of all property transactions over the next two years will be completed electronically and states its e-Conveyancing system can improve compliance and monitoring.

Ms O’Dwyer had previously said the committee was looking at introducing fines on a sliding scale based on the property price.

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