Chinese inquiries for Australian housing have dropped significantly after the heyday from 2012 to 2017, according to the data from Chinese property selling platform ACProperty.com.au
Chinese buyers are turning their attention to Serbia. Everyone is looking for the next place to invest [after Australia], and the One Belt One Road is helping places like Serbia," ACProperty.com.au co-founder Esther Yong told the Australian Financial Review. "Chinese investors say following its government's plans for infrastructure expansion is always a safe bet."
The Chinese capital withdrawal is apparent, according to Yong. The shift was mainly due to high stamp duty and scrutiny from the Foreign Investment Review Board. Foreign property buyers are required to pay a surcharge in almost every state.
In January, online marketer Investorist’s International Property Outlook report revealed that around half of the 160 Chinese real estate agents were still selling Australian properties, but only half of those agents said they would continue to do so by the end of 2019.
KPMG’s Demystifying Chinese Investment in Australia report, which was released a month ago, had a similar result in terms of the behaviour of property players. Chinese investment in Australia slid by more than a third in 2018— dropping 36.3% to $8.2 billion. Real estate trailed behind healthcare as the top investment for Chinese investors.
The study showed that the Australian government is making it difficult for Chinese investors to purchase property in the country.
Juwai.com, in a separate report, acknowledged the factors obstructing investments in Australia. “There are a number of restraints holding back Chinese acquisitions of Australian property at rates much lower than actual demand. Chinese demand is vast, as was revealed in the boom investment years of 2015 and especially 2016. But today that desire to purchase property in Australia is held back. Our metaphor is aquatic. The huge reservoir of Chinese demand is like water held back by a dam. That dam consists of capital controls, onerous Australian foreign buyer taxes, and the difficulties obtaining financing in Australia,” said Carrie Law, Juwai.com CEO and director.