SYDNEY, May 10 (Xinhua) -- A surcharge on foreign purchases of homes in Western Australia will be raised from 4 to 7 percent, in line with the state's latest budget rollout, authorities said on Thursday.
The surcharge applies to "all purchases of residential property by foreign individuals and entities" from Jan 1, 2019, according to a government statement.
The move, estimated to raise 123 million Australian dollars in revenue over the period of 2018-19 to 2021-22 puts Western Australia "on par" with New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland states "for all foreign ownership of residential property."
"Importantly, this decision increases a surcharge that will only apply to foreign investors. Western Australian households and businesses will not pay the surcharge," the state's Treasurer Ben Wyatt said.
"It is fair for foreign owners of residential property, who benefit from our services and infrastructure, to make a contribution to Budget repair."
The surcharge increase comes amid a housing slump in Western Australia, where recent local media reports have pointed to significant falls in properties prices in and near state capital Perth in the aftermath of a mining boom.
The latest rate is a "remarkable" decision by the authorities, the ABC News channel quoted industry group Real Estate Institute of WA President Hayden Groves as saying.
"By adding another 3 percent to 7 percent, what it effectively will do is just disincentivise further any foreign investment in Western Australian property," he said.