Melbourne-born man Tony Marsh has lost close to $67,000 and had his dreams of buying Australian property dashed.
As reported by news.com.au, Marsh and his British partner Andy Clarke wed in the U.K and had planned to buy an off-the-plan apartment on Lygon Street.
Unaware of the impending regulations that would tighten lending to foreign residents, Marsh and Clarke paid the developer a 10 percent deposit on the $663,000 unit after discovering the property two years ago.
Although Marsh paid the deposit from an inheritance he received, the primary breadwinner was listed as Clarke, and the loan was in Clarke’s name.
Their loan was pre-approved by ANZ in 2015 and Marsh and Clarke were told that they would have no problems with the Foreign Investment Review Board. But since then the bank has changed its lending criteria, leaving the couple high and dry.
“They pulled the plug, and we had to search for anyone who could offer us a decent mortgage, because the banks pulled out all lending to foreign investors,” Marsh told news.com.au. “We tried internationally, but they’d all stopped lending.”
Along with the other big four banks, ANZ stopped accepting loans based solely on foreign income last March. Ostensibly, it was part of measures introduced to prevent money laundering, but Marsh and Clarke are collateral damage.
Marsh and Clarke shopped around but by the time they found a possible offer they had missed the deadline for settlement.
In the end, Marsh lost his 10 percent deposit and associated fees totalling almost $67,000.
Marsh, who is currently living in Hong Kong, told news.com.au that the ordeal had put a damper on his plans to return back home with his husband.
“I don’t want to come back to a country that’s shattered me,” he said. “I’m not bitter about it, it just can’t be happening. They just can’t make decisions like that when people are putting their hard earned money to try and build a future for themselves in Australia.”