Property Council slams foreign investor fee hikes
The Property Council of Australia has lashed the federal government’s move to hike fees for foreign investors attempting to buy Australian commercial property, arguing that the new regime will discourage the investment required to support the nation’s economic recovery.
The Morrison government on Friday unveiled a new national security test for foreign investment alongside a lift in application fees to cover the costs of administering the new checks.
The proposed fee framework will see the cost of reviewing a $50m business or commercial land purchase rise to $13,200, up from $10,500, while commercial land and businesses worth more than $1.9bn will incur an application fee of $500,000 for foreign buyers. This compares with the previous maximum of $107,100 for acquisitions over $1bn.
Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison rubbished the proposed hikes as an outrageous impost on institutional investment and warned of the detriment they would cause to the commercial property sector.
“This draft fee regime treats commercial property like it is a national security asset like ports and telecommunications infrastructure,” Morrison said.
“Australian office buildings, shopping centres, industrial parks, retirement villages, tourism assets and other commercial property are vanilla investments from a security perspective, and they attract the highest quality institutional investment from around the world.