Cash from China is pouring in Sydney Real Estate Market
7 Mar 2014
Last year, median house prices in Sydney rose by a crazy 15%, in some suburbs by up to 27%. Cash pouring in from China is one of the principal drivers.
Watching weekly auctions, the Australian Financial Review was told that some Australians were “sick of going to auctions and being outbid by Chinese buyers paying above the odds.”
Anecdotally, the Herald recently reported an auction for a Chatswood residence at which all 16 registered bidders were ethnic Chinese. At another auction in Eastwood, all 38 registered bidders were Asian.
Of course, the real estate agents and the vendors aren’t complaining; in a booming market, they share in the spoils. Savvy owners and real estate agent are looking to find Chinese marketing company to talk up Sydney properties and advertise homes in Mandarin.
Wealthy Chinese are looking for a safe haven, both for their money and for themselves and it is hard to go past Australia. As the value of the dollar falls, foreign buyers will be paying less for Sydney real estate, and the Chinese government is relaxing restrictions on Chinese citizens wanting to buy overseas assets.
In 2011-2012, the FIRB approved $4.2bn of Chinese spending on Australian residential and commercial real estate. It has yet to publish figures for 2012-2013, but one was told inquiries from clients of Chinese origin have doubled over the last year.
Government of Hong Kong concerned that mainland Chinese investors were pushing up housing prices, slapped a 15% tax on outside buyers. It worked, immediately causing cashed-up Chinese investors to look further afield, predominantly Australia and US.
Some experts in China believe that the rush of Chinese investment into Sydney property over the last couple of years is “just the tip of the iceberg”.