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27 March 2019

Surcharge rethink urged

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN
WA’s newly introduced foreign buyers’ surcharge was unlikely to help the State’s sluggish property market, Reserve Bank assistant governor Michele Bullock said.

Ms Bullock told a UDIA WA function last week that in times of strong growth a surcharge would “take the edge off”.

“I would only observe that given the WA market is not particularly buoyant to begin with, putting a tax on it wouldn’t seem to help that circumstance,” Ms Bullock said.

The UDIA, with the Property Council, campaigned against the surcharge, which was forecast to generate $16 million.

The industry is concerned the surcharge has removed WA’s advantage as a lower priced quality apartment destination for foreign buyers.

UDIA chief executive Tanya Steinbeck asked State Treasurer Ben Wyatt to reconsider the charge as it was deterring new investors from coming to WA.