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ÊAustralian state of Victoria squeezes foreign homebuyers

The Australian state of Victoria said on Wednesday it was more than doubling taxes on foreign property buyers in a move reflecting growing public concern over the volume of Chinese money flowing into the local real estate market. ÒDoubling the tax within a year makes foreign buyers feel very unwelcome,Ó said Esther Yong, director of ACproperty, a Chinese-language property portal. There are already signs that tighter scrutiny of foreign transactions, restrictions on bank lending to foreigners and the stamp duty tax in Victoria are beginning to temper overseas demand for property.