While Chinese buyers are often blamed for a number of ills in Australian real estate, one sector of the market should be thanking them for their increased involvement in recent years.
According to recently released data from the Federal Government’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), 36,841 sales of residential real estate worth $60.75bn was approved for purchase by foreign buyers during the 2015-14 financial year.
That is a marked increase in the 23,054 sales worth $34.72bn that were approved in 2013-14 and is more than triple the amount of sales and values approved for foreign purchase in 2012-13.
Including the commercial sector, foreign buyers purchased a total of $96.9bn worth of Australian real estate over the 2015-14 financial year, with Chinese buyers accounting for just over $24bn of that.
Charles Pittar, chief executive officer of Juwai.com, which markets Australian real estate to Chinese buyers said the increase in Chinese money entering the Australian real estate market is a positive.
“China's share has risen from less than one-tenth to more than one-quarter of all of foreign real estate investment in Australia since 2012,” Pittar said
"Anyone who bought a new apartment last year should probably thank a Chinese offshore buyer. Because Chinese are more likely to buy off the plan and give developers the reassurance they need to start construction, new dwelling approvals have been well above their long-run average at least since 2015,” he said.
Pittar said there is still “pent up demand” for international property among Chinese buyers, with little sign of the flow of Chinese money to Australia stalling anytime in the near future.
“This is important because it shows that the China bears who claimed Chinese investment was falling off a cliff are badly informed. Australia is the second most popular country for Chinese buyers, after the USA and ahead of Canada and the UK,” he said.
“Chinese buyers are investing in residential property, commercial property and development sites. Chinese developers are building some of the most interesting projects in the country right now, and making a direct contribution to employment, housing supply and economic vitality.”
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