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【News Buddy】澳嚴打外國人投資舊樓遏樓價

2017-02-20
■悉尼的樓價全球第二高,澳洲政府為降低樓價,近年嚴打外資在當地非法置業。 資料圖片■悉尼的樓價全球第二高,澳洲政府為降低樓價,近年嚴打外資在當地非法置業。 資料圖片

【原文】下文摘錄自香港《文匯報》2017年2月7日報道:

海外買家近年一窩蜂在澳洲置業,大幅推高當地樓價(house price),當局前年12月頒佈新例,規定所有外籍人士在當地置業前,必須獲外資投資審核局(Foreign Investment Review Board,FIRB)批准,同時規定只能購買新樓,不得染指二手市場(secondary market),違規者須強制出售相關單位。

去年5月來已逼售61物業

財長(Treasurer)莫里森(Scott Morrison)2月6日宣佈,當局已強制業主沽出新一批15個違例購入的物業(property),涉及來自中國及印度(India)等地的買家,自去年5月以來已有61個物業被強制出售,總值1.07億澳元(約6.36億港元),當中25個由中國公民持有。

被指非法購入的15個物業位於維多利亞(Victoria)及昆士蘭(Queensland)省,買家來自中國、印度、印尼(Indonesia)、伊朗(Iran)、馬來西亞(Malaysia)、英國及德國,當中最昂貴一個單位位於墨爾本(Melbourne),價值590萬澳元(約3,506萬港元),業主為印度人。

為打擊(crackdown)外資非法持有澳洲物業,澳洲稅務局(Australian Taxation Office ,ATO)透過「數據配對程式」及公眾人士提供資料,發現超過570名外國人違規,迄今頒佈388個處罰通知(penalty notice)。莫里森批評前任工黨政府(Labor government)放任外國人非法持有物業,現任政府雷厲風行,執行相關法例,違法者可面臨3年監禁(jail)及罰款(fine)逾13萬澳元(約77萬港元),違法的公司則罰款67.5萬澳元(約401萬港元)及充公(confiscation)資本收益。

英文不流利遭舉報 被質疑不公

專門為中國人介紹海外置業資訊的「居外」網站(Juwai.com)行政總裁(chief executive)皮塔爾(Charles Pittar)表示,當局對海外投資者涉嫌違法的逾2,000宗個案進行調查,迄今強迫出售約61個單位,約佔總數3%,相比ATO估計約5%澳洲公民企圖逃稅(tax evasion),外國投資者違規情況不算嚴重。他指,當局一般是在接獲當地人舉報,聲稱新業主無法說流利(fluent)英語或剛抵達當地,才正式開展調查,他質疑做法有欠公允。

隨茠韘~外資(foreign capital)湧入(inflow)澳洲,悉尼樓價自2012年起暴漲逾70%,研究機構(research institute)Demographia的資料顯示,悉尼在全球房價最難以負擔的(unaffordable)城市中排名第二,僅次於香港。澳洲政府亦以國家安全(national security)為由,阻止外資收購(acquisition)電網(electricity grid)等基建(infrastructure)項目。

Australia has tightened foreign investment in housing

【譯文】Overseas property buyers are flocking to the real estate market of Australia in recent years, pushing up the house prices strongly in the country. In response to the situation, new regulations were issued in December 2015 requiring foreigners to seek approval from the government's Foreign Investment Review Board before purchasing any property in Australia. Non-Australians are only allowed to invest in the primary housing market, not the secondary market; otherwise they would be forced to sell their properties.

61 forced Sales since May last year

The Treasurer Scott Morrison announced on Feb 6 that the government had already forced foreign owners of 15 illegally-acquired properties to sell, and such properties were owned by the nationals of China and India, etc.

The total number of forced property sales added up to 61 since May last year with a combined value of AU$107 million (approximately HK$636 million), of which 25 were held by Chinese citizens.

The 15 illegally-bought properties were located in the provinces of Victoria and Queensland with buyers from China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Britain and Germany, in which the most expensive one was a residential unit in Melbourne valued at AU$5.9 million (approximately HK$35.06 million), owned by an Indian.

To begin its crackdown on illegally-acquired properties, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) had identified more than 570 cases of violation of rules through data-matching programs and the information provided by the public, and finally 388 penalty notices were issued to foreign nationals in breach of the regulations.

Morrison criticized the former Labor government for allowing illegal possession of properties owned by foreigners, saying that the current-term government was committed to reinforcing the rules and imposing penalties including three-year jail terms and fines of as much as AU$130,000 (approximately HK$770,000) for individuals and AU$675,000 (approximately HK$4.01 million) for companies, added with confiscation of profits.

Buyers speaking bad English reported

Charles Pittar, chief executive of the website Juwai.com that promotes overseas property to Chinese, said that there were only 61 forced sales out of more than 2,000 investigations of potential illegal home purchase, accounting for just 3% of the investigations.

While compared to the estimation by the ATO that 5% of wealthy Australians might evade paying their taxes, foreign investors still behaved better than the local well-to-do.

He pointed out that investigation was often started when it was reported that a homebuyer could not speak fluent English and was new to the country, questioning if the measures were justifiable.

With foreign capital inflows in recent years, the house prices of Sydney have risen for more than 70% since 2012, making it the second most unaffordable housing city in the world after Hong Kong, according to the research institute Demographia.

Moreover, the Australian government had rejected foreign acquisitions of electricity grid and other infrastructure assets for the reason of national security.■龐嘉儀

Exercise

1. 根據Demographia的調查,全球樓價最難負擔的首5位城市有哪些?

2. 承上題,哪個城市連續7年登上榜首?

3. 國際慣常使用什麼比率以衡量樓價負擔?

4. 承上題,香港的比率約為多少?

5. 調查指香港去年的樓價中位數約為多少?

Answer

1. 香港、悉尼、溫哥華(Vancouver)、奧克蘭(Auckland)、加州聖荷西(San Jose)

2. 香港

3. 樓價入息比率(house price to income ratio,即樓價中位數除以家庭全年入息中位數)

4. 18.1倍

5. 542.2萬元

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