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Surge of Chinese investors to push growth

By Staff Reporter
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The upward trend of Chinese investors snapping up Australian real estate is expected to drive property prices upward.

Simon Lam, managing director of Window to China, a platform for individuals and organisations in Australia who want to sell their property to Asian investors, told Smart Property Investment that the buying activity this Chinese New Year in February was “exceptional”.

“We had seen an influx of Chinese investors purchase properties in Australia, which was fairly unusual,” he said.

However, with the recently introduced Significant Investor Visa program introduced by the federal government, combined with the prediction of policy changes by the Chinese government, Mr Lam is not surprised that investors are looking increasingly overseas.

“Chinese investors might have figured out that parking their assets overseas would be the only channel for them to invest in property,” he said.

While Chinese investors have been snapping up properties across the board, there has been an influx of purchases in the $1.5 million-plus price range.

Mr Lam believes low interest rates coupled with an upward trend in Australian property prices will drive further growth.  

“With the downtrend of local interest rate in the next six months, it will further stimulate people’s interest in property investment,” he said.  

“Topped with the demand of investors residing both locally and overseas, I personally believe that property prices will be pushed up.”

The 2013 Chinese Sydney Property Expo, to be held by Window to China between 13-14 April at Sydney's Town Hall, is aimed to attract more investment to Australia.  

According to Window to China, the Expo will be a ‘one-stop- shop’ for Chinese investors residing both locally and overseas so that they are more informed and confident to make their investment decision.

Asian experts have also been invited to provide commentary on Australia's economic outlook and analysis on the timing of investing in the property market.

At the exhibition, developers will showcase a number of projects from across Australia, located in areas such as Sydney’s Little Bay, Mascot, Waterloo and Zetland, most of which are suitable for middle-class investors, Mr Lam said.

All of the projects are either new or off-the-plan, and are FIRB-approved for overseas investors.

As the CBD becomes more saturated, Mr Lam continued, investors will start eyeing inner-city suburbs.

“Taking NSW as an example, Waterloo, Zetland and Mascot are highly sought after. Epping, Macquarie Park and Rhodes are close to university and are of investors’ interest.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has also acknowledged the event, and the importance of Chinese investments in supporting Australia’s economic growth.

“In 2011-12, the Australian government screened and approved almost 5,000 investment proposals from Chinese investors. These were worth around $16 billion, including over $4 billion in the real estate sector,” Ms Gillard said in a statement.

“For almost two centuries, Chinese people have made a strong contribution to the Australian community and to our success as a vibrant, open society ready to meet the challenges of the Asian Century.

“Events such as the Property Expo provide an important opportunity to reflect on these close ties and the integral place that Chinese-Australians hold in the story of our nation.”

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