12 Dec 2014

Fiji Govt amends Land Sales Act

7:17 am on 12 December 2014

Fiji's government has amended the Land Sales Act to prevent foreigners from buying freehold residential land in towns.

It will also require foreigners who purchase freehold land to build a house of at least a 126,000 US dollar value within two years.

Foreigners who already own land but haven't built until now must do so within two years, or face a penalty of 10 percent of the property's value every six months.

The amendment passed today is a heavily revised version of the bill that was proposed up until yesterday, which would have prevented non-residents from buying any freehold property at all.

The finance minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says the changes would curb foreign demand for property, and make property more affordable for Fijians.

But some foreign freehold landowners have said the bill has been rushed through with no consultation.