Foreigners required to return property upon leaving Australia

The federal government will require temporary residents and foreign students to sell their houses when they leave the country as it looks to combat Australia’s growing housing shortage.

Information relating to travel arrangements and home ownership will be used to enforce the measure and a new hotline will be set up to enable people to "dob in" foreigners they suspect of breaches.

There have been growing complaints in recent months that wealthy foreign investors, particularly from Asia, have been driving up house prices by accumulating property in Australia.

At the end of last week, assistant treasurer Nick Sherry announced that the system would be tightened to ensure compliance from temporary residents.

He added: "The Rudd government is acting to make sure that investment in Australian real estate by temporary residents and foreign non-residents is within the law, meets community expectations and doesn’t place pressure on housing availability for Australians,".

The news may interest Aussies who wish to compare home loans and secure a property. Dean Rushton, chief executive officer of broker Loan Market Group, recently told the Sunday Telegraph that new rules to allow Australia’s banks and brokers to analyse the spending habits of borrowers will make it even harder for customers to secure credit facilities.

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