Chinese appetite for Aussie property returns

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Chines buyer enquiries for residential properties in the country increased for a second quarter in a row in March, according to new data.

Chinese enquires rose by 40% in March after a 54% increase during the December quarter, according to data from Juwai.com. It was the first consecutive year-on-year rise since 2016, according to the data.

“A buyer holding yuan today needs the equivalent of $88,800 less in funds compared to 2017 to purchase an $800,000 dwelling. Thus, Australian state foreign buyer taxes have been counterbalanced by the plummeting Australian dollar, which has lost 11.1% of its value against the Chinese yuan since July 2018. That compares to the 8% rate of the highest foreign buyer taxes, which are in New South Wales and Victoria,” Juwai.com CEO and Director Carrie Law said.

Chinese buying will remain essentially flat this year, with upside risks, and will begin growing again with the market recovery, according to Law.

Melbourne was the most popular city for Chinese buying enquiries in the country, with Chinese buyers making 83% more enquiries about property acquisition in the city than they did in Sydney, according to Juwai.com.

In terms of Chinese interest, Hobart, Brisbane, and Canberra were the fastest-growing cities. In Hobart, Chinese buyers made 77% more enquiries in 2018 than the year before, the report said. However, these cities still received less buyer interest than Sydney and Melbourne. Brisbane had the second-fastest rate of Chinese buyer growth, with 30.8% more Chinese buyer enquiries in 2018, according to Law.

"Melbourne receives 43.8% of Chinese buying enquiries in Australia, Sydney 23.9%, Brisbane 10.1%, Perth and Adelaide 6.1%, the Gold Coast 3.7%, Canberra 3.6%, and Hobart 2.6%,” Law said.

Education spending was also a significant part of Chinese buying, with young adults from China helping turn education into Australia’s third-largest export industry and the largest single services export, according to Law.

“Victoria has the biggest foreign student enrolment, with more than one-third of the Australian total.  New South Wales has about 30% of all foreign students. Queensland has the third biggest population of foreign students, with 13%total. WA has 9% of foreign students, making it the fourth-ranked state for foreign student income. South Australia has 7% of all foreign students. Canberra has 3% of foreign students. Tasmania has only about 1% of fall foreign students. The Northern Territory has less than 1% of the total number of foreign students in Australia,” Law said.

Wealth growth, a desire to store assets overseas, education, travel, commercial ties, immigration and high net worth immigration, environment, and lifestyle helped increase Chinese demand, according to Law.

“Eighty-three per cent of Chinese consumers cite education as their reason for immigration, 69% cite environment, 57% cite food safety, and 28% cite asset security. Forty-four per cent of Chinese investors plan to increase their investments in international property in the next three years,” Law said.

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