Back to All News

Labor dog-whistling on “foreign” property buyers

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 21 Apr 2017

Labor has damaged their credibility and raised doubts about their response to the housing crisis by running a scare campaign about the impact “foreigners” are having on housing prices, the Greens housing spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said today.

“It’s disappointing that Labor have continued the xenophobic tactics of the Turnbull government by scapegoating ‘foreigners’ in their housing announcement today,” Senator Rhiannon said.

“NSW Labor have trotted out a figure of 11 per cent of property buyers being ‘foreigners’, but this includes properties jointly purchased by Australian and foreign citizens, dual citizens and permanent residents according to analysis by the Australian Financial Review.

“Only about 2 per cent of buyers in NSW are foreign tax residents. The national figure is likely to be lower.

“A 2016 Treasury working paper found that foreign investors have only increased prices by between $80 and $122 each quarter in Sydney and Melbourne, a tiny fraction of the average overall increases of $12,800.

“Calling for increased fees on ‘foreigners’ is sure to get a headline, but the figures show it will have basically no impact on house prices.

“Labor should stop dog-whistling to distract from their weak negative gearing and capital gains tax reforms,” said Senator Rhiannon.

Back to All News