Regulator admits limited ability to stop illegal foreign home buying
The head of the agency tasked with stopping illegal buying of Australian homes by foreign investors has limited resources to do so. The chairman of the Foreign Investment Review Board has admitted that some of the prohibited purchases will be missed by the agency due to the scale of the market. With 11 million homes and 600,000 transfers a year Brian Wilson says that the FIRB’s ability to discover and prosecute cases is “sorely limited”. The regulator wants the federal government to implement new measures to help it tackle the problem including a national register of property transactions. Currently only Queensland asks buyers for their nationality.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Some Sydney homes are earning more than their owners

Prices are rising so fast in parts of Sydney that some owners’ homes are making more money than they are. Domain Group reports that 226 suburbs in the city have median home price increases greater than median income. The figures are based on 2011 census data which shows a median income of almost $90,000 in Sydney.  Property prices last year alone increased by more than $100,000 in some suburbs, including Castle Hill where a 20 per cent hike in the median price equates to an additional $173,333 in 12 months. Of course those who live in homes in the suburbs with the steepest rise in prices may well be earning far in excess of the median income for the city as whole, but there will be those whose houses are working harder than they are.
Source: The Domain Group

Property Council director says “vocal minority” shouldn’t dictate how people live
With land at a premium and property prices forced higher due to low supply the subject of density is a hot one in many towns and cities. The Property Council of Australia has praised the work of the Town of Cambridge for showing leadership in exploring ways to boost density in some suburbs. While there is opposition in Perth as in other areas that are proposing more density, Joe Lenzo, the WA executive director of the Property Council says the “vocal minority should not be allowed to dictate how people must live.” He says that those who oppose the plans may believe it is a bigger strategy than it really is: “The community should not be misled into thinking that the Town of Cambridge is proposing to turn their suburbs into the Gold Coast. What is being proposed is gentle density that encourages more housing diversity like a pair of new dwellings on large corner blocks.”
Source: Property Council of Australia