Chinese investment in Australian property down, but still strong: Juwai.com

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CHINESE buyers are expected to splash $104.5 billion on international property this year, with about a fifth of that to be sunk into Australia.

A new Juwai.com report states that the figure would be down on the $133.7 billion spent last year — a record outlay that represented an 845 per cent increase over five years.

But it would still be just the third time offshore real estate investment from China breached $100 billion in a year.

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The other time was in 2015, when Chinese property buyers spent $105 billion internationally.

The A Sea of Money report shows Australia received the second largest share of Chinese investment by dollar value in 2016.

The country came in behind the US and ahead of Hong Kong, Canada and the UK.

“With its proximity and deep commercial ties to China, appealing investment markets and a world-leading 26 years without a recession, Australia appeals to Chinese investors, immigrants and students,” the report said.

“Chinese investment has been one of the most significant enablers of Australia’s recent residential property-building boom.”

But Juwai.com chief of operations Sue Jong said Chinese investment in Australia had “decreased markedly” from its 2016 peak due to a combination of “capital controls, new foreign buyer taxes and restrictions on lending”.

She still expected the country to remain the second most popular with Chinese buyers this year and, if current demand continued, experience a similar level of investment it did in 2015.

Juwai.com does not have a specific figure for expenditure in Australia. But the Foreign Investment Review Board’s annual report for 2014-15 showed Chinese buyers were approved to spend $18.4 billion that year, and $23.8 billion in 2015-16.

“Current trends suggest Chinese property investment this year will be on par with the levels of 2015,” Ms Jong said.

Melbourne also remained the nation’s Chinese buyer capital of choice, Ms Jong said: “It has lower prices (than Sydney), more new apartment projects and house and land estates, good schools and universities, a good economy and an appealing city lifestyle.”

Point Cook has been the most sought Melbourne suburb by Chinese property hunters on Juwai.com this year, followed by Preston, the CBD, Pakenham and Southbank.

By Samantha Landy
Herald Sun

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