Data from Juwai IQI shows worsening diplomatic rift between Beijing and Canberra has prompted Chinese property buyers to look elsewhere, reports Your Investment Property (22 June 2020). The latest figures from Juwai IQI showed that Chinese enquiries for Australian homes plunged by more than 65% from April to May, the lowest in almost three years. This comes after enquiries shot up at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, with many Chinese buyers impressed by the country's handling of the crisis. May's slump coincided with Canberra's push for an investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus - first detected in China late last year - which Beijing opposed. Experts believe that a prolonged dip in Chinese interest will adversely impact Australia's property sector, a pillar of the economy in recent years, contributing as much as AUD 1.6 billion last year. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has expressed concern about the outlook for dwelling investment as housing and construction slow down, and rents falling. "If the situation doesn't escalate further things will stabilise," said Georg Chmiel, executive chairman of Juwai IQI.