The shackles of covid are well and truly off, and foreigners are starting to show significant interest in our real estate market once again, according to the latest Proptrack report. As migration is set to increase to its pre-pandemic levels and higher, we can expect this interest to continue to grow and have positive effects on property in Australia.
Uptick in Online Search
Overseas property searches on property portal realestate.com.au increased by 65% for rentals and 10% for buying. That’s already much higher than 2019 levels, and it can be attributed to the return of overseas workers and students to our shores.
In 2023, you can expect these stats to climb even higher as Australia prepares itself for a migration boom. According to former deputy secretary of the immigration department, Abul Rizvi, Australia is on track for net migration of more than 300,000 people this year. That’ quite a surge of arrivals.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in 30 years – it’s out of the realm of anything we’ve seen before,” said Rizvi about the excess of arrivals over departures.
Searches for properties for rent by foreigners has has also gone up, increasing by 65% compared to last year. This is likely to place even more pressure on an already stressed rental market as migration grows. A knock-on effect of this is more settlers will be looking to buy a home rather than enter the fray of trying to secure a rental.
Where Does the Interest Come From?
Australia, often referred to as ‘the lucky country’, attracts migrants from all around the world. The majority of the searches come from New Zealand, the UK, the USA, India and China. interest is highest in the capital cities, with the Gold Coast (pictured above) also featuring heavily in foreign searches.
Of these, China is by far the biggest investor in Australian real estate. According to one real estate group, the amount of Chinese investment in Australian property could reach $4.8-billion in 2023 alone. Much of this has to do with China re-opening their borders after arduous lockdowns, with their citizens now freer to look for overseas investment opportunities.
50,000 Chinese Students instructed to Return to Australia
The Chinese government has also just instructed 50,000 Chinese students to resume their in-person studies in Australia.
Affluent Chinese buyers often like to set their children up in their own homes when they study in Australia. ‘We find that Chinese students, coming from one-child only families, like to often have their own apartment,’ said Phil Honeywood, of the International Education Association of Australia.
As Cameron Kusher from the REA property advertising group says, ‘’A lot of the students that have come from overseas are relatively wealthy, so they can pay higher prices for these properties than maybe local students can.” As students return to our shores it once again brings this avenue of demand back to the market.
The Return of Luxury Foreign Buyers?
International buyers within the luxury market space are returning too. In Sydney, a Toorak mansion recently sold for $15-million to a family from Latvia. The sales agent Max Ruttner said “International buyers are back and I am receiving strong levels of inquiry from America, Europe and Asia. International capital is slightly ahead of local buyers at the moment.”
This sentiment is backed up by another recent sale in Annandale through Monica Tu of Black Diamondz. The 10-bedroom luxury home she listed sold to Chinese art collectors for $12.5-million.
Australia’s Growing Population
With the population of Australia look set to increase for many years to come, this means the demand for new and existing properties will remain stable or go up. Australia is a very attractive place to live for foreigners, because on top of the nice weather we have a stable political space, a strong economy and leading schools and universities. The Australian lifestyle is hard to beat!
If you’re thinking of selling, targeting foreign buyers, particularly affluent Chinese and Asian buyers, should definitely be part of your strategy. There’s nobody more qualified to answer your questions on that than Brisbane real estate agent Henry Wong. Get in touch today!