Off the plan FIRB rule change by Scott Morrison

Off the plan FIRB rule change by Scott Morrison
Off the plan FIRB rule change by Scott Morrison

The Treasurer, Scott Morrison, has made changes under the foreign investment framework to allow foreign buyers to purchase an off-the-plan dwelling when another foreign buyer has failed to reach settlement.

The Turnbull Government advised last November it was set to implement changes under the foreign investment framework to allow foreign buyers to purchase an off-the-plan dwelling when another foreign buyer has failed to reach settlement.

"This change addresses industry concerns, and means property developers won’t be left in the lurch when a foreign buyer pulls out on an off-the-plan purchase," the Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison advised.

"This action will ensure that markets will not be impacted negatively by an increased amount of off-the-plan sales, particularly from foreign purchasers, not being completed."

He said it was common sense that an apartment or house that has just been built, or is still under construction and for which the title has never changed hands, is not considered an established dwelling.

In the event of a failure to complete settlement, the dwelling should revert to its previous status – that is, a new dwelling.

For individual applications made by potential purchasers this policy change will be implemented immediately.

Foreign persons who apply to purchase a dwelling that is considered established, only due to a failed settlement, will be assessed as if it was a new dwelling.

These issues also affect the current New Dwelling Exemption Certificates, which act as a pre-approval mechanism for foreign persons purchasing new apartments in a specific development.

A regulation change will be made at the next opportunity to enable developers to acquire a certificate that covers foreign persons purchasing a dwelling that is considered established only due to a failed settlement.

The Commissioner of Taxation has advised no compliance action will be pursued against persons who, if not for a failed settlement preceding their purchase, would otherwise have been covered by an existing New Dwelling Exemption Certificate until the regulations are changed.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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