Blackman Legal

Forced house Sale

Treasurer Joe Hockey announced the forced sale of the $39 million Point Piper mansion Villa del Mare, purchased by one of China's richest men in November, because it was sold in contravention to the existing foreign ownership laws.

The extraordinary measure has shocked agents who had believed the purchase did not require approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board because the purchase was in the name of an Australian company.Treasurer Joe Hockey announced the forced sale of the $39 million Point Piper mansion Villa del Mare, purchased by one of China's richest men in November, because it was sold in contravention to the existing foreign ownership laws.

However, a spokesman from Mr Hockey's office said the sale was an illegal purchase because Golden Fast Foods was a shelf company for the Hong Kong-based Evergrande Real Estate Group.

"If the company had sought FIRB approval it would have been rejected too because the rules are quite simple, foreign buyers are not allowed to purchase established property," said a spokesman from Mr Hockey's office.

This sale is likely to bring into question other notable trophy home sales in recent years that were purchased in company names.

Mr Hockey's announcement follows the Federal Government's moves to enforce stiffer penalties and new fees to enforce the existing foreign ownership laws.