Proposed Privatisation of New South Wales Title Registry to Propel Home Prices

Real EstateA proposal to privatise the land titles registry in New South Wales would lead to higher prices in buying homes in a state considered to be the most expensive residential market.

As state treasury scheduled an Oct. 31 deadline for expressions of interest, State Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian had confirmed a plan by the Baird government to sell the Land and Property Information’s registry business in May.

The government expects to reap over $700 million from the transaction, with the proceeds slated to be used for new infrastructure investments. The privatisation has elicited concerns over the ballooning prices of acquiring properties such as country homes for sale in the state. Home builder Manor Homes says providing information on council approvals is part of their ‘start pack’. Experts say government council information will need to be updated to reflect the privatisation, should it push through.

However, Berejiklian said that the decision will provide benefits both for the state and the private sector. Still, some groups have voiced their concerns on issues that would arise from the sale.

What Monopoly?

The acquisition of the registry could lead to a monopoly of services, according to Chris Tyler, Australian Institute of Conveyancers New South Wales division CEO. Tyler wonders if the terms of the sale involve a capping system that would prevent the private company from inappropriately increasing fees and charges.

The increase in services would have a snowball effect, as it would drive the cost of conveyancing amongst other third-party services, he added. Margaret Hole, former New South Wales Law Society president, also said that privatising the registry business would add more burden to homebuyers through requiring insurance for land titles.

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Foreign Investors Love Sydney

Offshore buyers can’t seem to get enough of residential properties in Sydney. Most foreign investors spend within the $6 million-plus range to buy large properties with beautiful surroundings.

According to Foreign Investment Review Board data, offshore investments in residential properties nationwide amounted to $60.75 billion in 2014-2015, up 75 per cent. Most of the buyers are from China, Singapore, Malaysia, the US and the UK.

Rural and semi-rural homes are also a great option for house buyers outside New South Wales. It’s best to consult an expert to find the best deal for your money.