Housing demand is high. Image – Canva
  • Inquiry into Australia's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime is currently underway
  • REIA is calling for recommendations that do not burden real estate agencies
  • The Inquiry will publish a report in December 2021. 

With changes to money laundering laws on the horizon, The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) is urging for consideration of home buyers tenants and real estate agencies.

There is currently an Inquiry into Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime.

Proposed Tranch Two laws could cost real estate agents around $50,000 each, according to REIA President Adrian Kelly.

 “If all anticipated activities for Tranch Two reporting are implemented the costs to the sector could easily reach billions.”

REIA President Adrian Kelly

“We urge the Senate Committee to deliver practical recommendations that target sophisticated money launderers without creating a financial burden on home buyers, tenants and real estate agencies,” Mr Kelly said.

It has been put to the Inquiry that $116 million real estate assets were seized by authorities in the 2021 financial year, this is out of a total of $187 million that was seized.

However, Mr Kelly believes this needs to be considered in the context of the large scale of Australian real estate. He pointed out that in the same period the commercial sales market alone recorded more than $50bilion in sales.

The Australian Federal Police representative Stepha Jerga testified to the Senate Committee.

“That property prices are going through the rood because of organised crime pushing them up or things like that, that is certainly not a statistical reference that we can add to,” Mr Jerga said.

Mr Kelly has announced that REIA is open to working with the government to assist with Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing.

“We made it very clear to the Senate Committee we stand ready to play our part in stamping out criminal activity and protecting our clients

“A cost-benefit analysis would be needed to better qualify the cost to the real estate agencies versus the projected benefits of additional reform and how additional reporting will actually detect more criminal activity.”

The Inquiry will publish a report on the 2nd December 2021.

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