The Land and Development Agency sold the final 60 Lawson blocks at Auction on Wednesday, at an average 34 per cent over reserve, netting $24.74 million for the ACT government. This is on top of the $56 million coined from the first 124 blocks, according to the Canberra Times.
This is all pretty interesting given a note we received today from someone in attendance at a recent auction of Canberra blocks in the North.
A friend of the note writer was bidding on a large block of land to build some residential houses. They were unsuccessful. However, during the auction she witnessed two groups of Chinese bidders making offers around 30% over reserve prices – apparently proxies – buying for overseas investors.
This raised some concerns over Foreign Review Board (FIRB) rules being breached regarding foreign ownership of land. There was also some question of due diligence performed by the ACT government, whether there is any assurance of local citizenship beyond using a valid company registered with ASIC.