This week’s Chinese New Year could be cause for celebration for Australia’s real estate industry, with Chinese international real estate website Juwai.com tipping many will use their week off to investigate purchasing in Australia.
Juwai recently conducted a survey of 256 Chinese consumers about their travel and property investment plans over Chinese New Year and the rest of 2018, and the results indicate Australia is the fourth most popular travel destination and the second most popular for investment.
CEO of Juwai, Carrie Law, explained Chinese New Year on February 16 is the biggest travel period of the year for China’s mainlanders.
“Chinese who are considering buying real estate or even migrating to Australia often use their holidays to combine fun or research.”
The survey found 92 per cent of people surveyed intended to travel internationally in 2018, with a quarter of them set to take advantage of the Chinese New Year holiday.
Of the destinations preferred, 23% will travel within Asia, 20% to the US, 15% to Europe (excluding the UK), and 14% to Australia.
“Tourism is important,” Ms Law continued, “because, of the Chinese who intend to buy international real estate this year, 60% intend to purchase property in their holiday destination, and 58% are considering emigrating there.
“Australia welcomed a record 1.33 million Chinese visitors last year, and a significant minority of that group are not just tourists – but also property investors or immigrants.”
The survey also found Australia remains attractive for those looking to buy property, ranking as the second most popular destination behind the US. Just over a quarter (26%) said the US is their ideal investment destination, while 19% prefer Australia.
“We expect Chinese buying in the New Year to be on par with the levels of 2017 unless something significant happens to change the Chinese or Australian investing environment,” Ms Law tipped.
“One reason Chinese investors seek out property in Australia if because of our cost of living, which surprises many Aussies because China used to be such a poor country. China’s eastern coastal region is just as developed as Australia, however, and its 200 million people live in some of the most expensive cities in the world. Greater China has three cities in the top 10 most expensive list, with Hong Kong in first, Shanghai seventh, and Beijing 10th. No Australian city appears on the list until Perth at 69th.
And contrary to popular belief, many will purchase for their own use rather than pure investment, marking a shift in the motivation of previous years.
“Over the past few years, we have seen changes in the primary motivations of new Chinese property buyers. ‘Own use’ surpassed ‘investment’ as a motivation in 2016 and hasn’t looked back. Now, buying for one’s own use motivates more than 65% of Chinese buyers. There is some overlap, because buyers can select more than one motivation. Investment only accounts for about 45% of buyers.”
The top Australian cities for Chinese buyers, according to Juwai’s consumer buyer inquiry data, are: Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, and the Gold Coast.