Chinese real estate buyers stepped up their activity in Australia during 2015, making 87.1 per cent more purchasing inquiries to property sellers like real estate agents and developers than the year before, according to new data released by Juwai.com.
The Juwai.com data shows that Chinese buyers are active across the entire range of prices, but that more than half of Chinese buyers are seeking property in the $200,000 to $500,000 range.
“This is great news for first-time buyers in Australia,” says Juwai.com Head of Australia, Gavin Norris. “When offshore investors purchase off the plan, they give developers the security they need to start construction on the new buildings that will provide homes for Australians. The Property Council of Australia tells us that every Chinese buyer makes four homes available for local buyers.”
When it comes to answering the question of why Chinese buyers purchase in Australia, most buyers reported more than one motivation. Juwai.com CEO Charles Pittar said, “You might expect capital gains, but also let your son or daughter live there while studying or working in Australia. On top of that, your relatives stay when they are visiting from China and –one day– you could also turn it into your retirement home.”
Sydney had the highest number of Chinese buyers motivated by education, with 54 per cent of buyers naming that as their reason for purchasing. That compares to 53 per cent in Melbourne and 49 per cent in Brisbane.
The top destinations in Sydney, according to the Juwai.com data, are Waterloo, Bankstown, central Sydney and Turramurra.
Ray White Group Director, Dan White, said the Chinese economy is seeing strength across the board.
“We see Chinese buyers not just in the inner city, but all around the middle suburbs. Suburbs that are convenient, have good schools and offer new construction are attractive options.
“Recent trips to China have shown that the economy is still strong overall. The growth rate has dropped to 6 or 6.5 per cent, but that would be an attractive rate for Australia. Even at this new slower rate, China will add more to its GDP this year than last year,” he said.
Brisbane & Gold Coast
Queensland is the only state to have two cities in the top five most popular cities for Chinese buyers, with Brisbane in third and the Gold Coast in fifth. Even so, New South Wales and Victoria still attract significantly more buyers in absolute numbers.
RE/MAX Community Realty Principal Cathy Cheng said, “Our market, which is on Brisbane’s south-side, has a very well-established Chinese community, so homes here are very highly sought after by Chinese families, especially those looking for good educational facilities and to be nearby family members.
“Asian buyers account for more than 90 per cent of our customers and the majority know exactly where they want to invest having done their homework through a combination of word-of-mouth and the internet,” she said.
Robin Yu, Principal of RE/MAX Masters in Brisbane said “Chinese buyers are not only looking to Australia but to other countries, like the US and the UK, where they can purchase freehold property, but Australia, in particular, has presented value for money and better opportunities for the children, which is very important to Chinese families.
“Melbourne has the greatest growth of any city in both buyer inquiries and online property views compared to a year earlier,” said Pittar. Chinese buyers made 177 per cent more buyer inquiries and 61 per cent more online property views in 2015, compared to 2014. By contrast Sydney had 82 per cent growth in inquiries and 36 per cent growth in views, while Brisbane had 83 per cent growth in inquiries and 11 per cent growth in property views.
Jamie Mi, International Relationship Executive for Kay & Burton, said: “The Melbourne top-end property market has been very strong for the past three years, thanks in part to Chinese and Asian buyers. In fact, many factors suggest that Melbourne's property growth has been very consistent and will continue to be so in the coming years. If our buyers like a home they have seen from a distance, they often contact us to arrange to fly to Melbourne to view it.”