I get that Property Auctions can be highly emotive, but it's disturbing to hear that racism has raised its ugly head where Foreign Investors have been bidding for property. The tone of the media around the Governments crackdown on foreign investment and tightening of FIRB rules, clearly have not helped. Whatever your beliefs around foreign investment and its impact on our current property market, this sort of commentary is unacceptable. Australia can only benefit from foreign investment and the increased level of activity that it brings.
At the auction of a four-bedroom period home in inner-city Melbourne, a heated bidding war ended with an offensive remark by a spectator. The local man in his 60s yelled at a Chinese family bidding for the $2.7 million property: "Have you got the appropriate residency?" The Abbott government is cracking down on breaches of foreign investment rules that prevent non-residents buying established homes without approval. "There's a misconception from the public about Asian buyers because they read the sensationalism in the papers. It's unfortunate that some xenophobia has been unleashed by rising anxiety about property prices and housing affordability," he said. "We should have a proper property debate about the various factors at play. It's overly simplistic to blame foreign buyers for the situation in the property market."