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Chinese buyers sway Australia property market
By Juwai, 26 June 2013
Citigroup's economists have found a correlation between Chinese immigration and property prices in Australia, says The Wall Street Journal.
"It could be that Chinese immigrants have the income capacity and desire to buy property, more so than other nationalities," said Paul Brennan, chief economist of Citigroup's Australian operations.
Wealthy Chinese are now among the biggest buyers of Australian properties, including at least a couple of A$30-A$50 million mansions in the Sydney suburb of Point Piper this year.
Richard Simeon, a real estate agent in the Sydney waterfront suburb of Mosman, claims to have sold close to A$30 million worth of homes to Chinese buyers in the past few months alone.
"I'm putting on a bus and taking them around and then trying to find out their price ranges," Simeon told the WSJ.
Juwai.com co-founder Simon Henry noted that such real estate deals are shifting from just wealthy elites to also the rising middle-class in China.
China accounted for A$4.19 billion, or 7%, of foreign investment on commercial and residential real estate in Australia in the year ended 30 June.
- China's property curbs have encouraged Chinese to look abroad.
- Australian schools are a big draw, generating about A$14.5 billion in export revenue last year. A survey this month by HSBC also found that there's growing interest in property purchases among Chinese parents whose children study in Australia.
- The falling Australian dollar, which has gone down 10% against the US dollar over the past two months, is also making Australian property more affordable for Chinese investors.
- Australia has been attracting wealthy Chinese and launched the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) last November, a new programme that lets foreigners settle in Australia for up to four years in exchange for an investment of at least A$5 million. The first SIV has been issued to a Chinese toymaker.
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