Government has no idea

The federal government has no idea how many Australian properties are being snapped up by foreign buyers. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, a government analyst confirmed that no data has been kept on purchases since the administrative changes to the foreign investment laws opening up the flood gates to overseas buyers.

In Victoria, the State Revenue Office records buyers’ addresses in stat declarations for title transfers, however a spokesperson for the State Revenue Office said the data was not compiled.

» No data: foreign buyer property puzzle – The Sydney Morning Herald, 21st April 2010.


  1. I like how the reserve bank is raising interest rates to try to curb the overheated property bubble when domestic interest rates do not affect foreign investment into this country.

    How hard is it to report these figures really given its importance?

  2. This is a key piece of the housing market puzzle, so I’m not surprised we don’t know. Sometimes I think governments might be more cunning than we giver them credit for. By not knowing this information we all spend our time arguing back and forth about the real impact of foreign ownership. If however, we knew the data and it was clear that foreign ownership is the ket explanation of current prices, the government would be pressured to tighten up the laws again. In doing so, finally popping the Australian housing bubble.
    To keep the bubble going we need to remain ignorant.

    Although, it does make a mockery of RBA independence if the government is intentionally acting in this way.

    Of course, the reason we don’t know could just be another example of government incompetence.

  3. I bet not nearly as many foreign buyers are buying as the REI would like us to think… I think it’s just more spruiking to sustain their housing market which is now only sustainable under a true greater fool scenario.

    I’m not saying there are no foreign buyers, I just bet it’s a lot less than people are suggesting.

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