Overseas buyers and renters inspecting Australian properties in record numbers: Report

International buyers and renters continued to create a strong wave of demand in the Australian property market in May, as they flocked to virtually inspect properties in record-breaking numbers during the month.

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Virtual tours platform Little Hinges analysed over 300,000 virtual inspections conducted and found international buyer inspections rose by 6 basis points to 7.4 per cent, and international renter inspections increased by 4 basis points to 9.3 per cent on a monthly basis.

The figures represent an estimated 23,000 potential immigrants inspecting Australian property from outside the country’s borders in May alone.

“The percentage of digital inspections being conducted by buyers and renters from overseas is the highest it’s been since we started analysing our digital inspection data in January 2022,” Little Hinges chief marketing officer Mike York stated.

Delving into the favoured destinations for international prospectors, the Gold Coast continues to be a crowd favourite by drawing in nearly 9 per cent of buyers conducting inspections from overseas.


Meanwhile, Sydney and Melbourne witnessed approximately 10 per cent of renters engaging in inspections from beyond Australia’s borders.

The US, UK and New Zealand make up the highest numbers of international inspections, followed by Singapore.

And while interstate buyers and renters were reported taking a “wait-and-see” approach amid market uncertainty in April, Mr York noted interstate inspections are also slowly recovering after declining for the last three months.

Within the domestic market, the major regions around Australia saw an average of 23.2 per cent of properties inspected from interstate, up from 22.7 per cent in April.

A further breakdown of the data showed 23.3 per cent (up 0.6 per cent) of buyers and 18.2 per cent (up 0.06 per cent ) of renters are inspecting properties outside the city they live in — indicating an upward trend in interstate inspections experiencing a decline in nearly all major cities across Australia earlier in the year.

The Gold Coast experienced a notable surge in interstate inspections, rising by nearly 2 per cent to reach 39.8 per cent over the month. Similarly, the neighbouring region of the Sunshine Coast witnessed a significant increase of 2.4 per cent in interstate inspections, reaching 32.7 per cent.

Across the capital cities, Sydney saw 12.3 per cent of buyer inspections coming from outside the state, growing by 2.6 per cent from last month. In contrast, Melbourne experienced a decline to 17.7 per cent (down 0.8 per cent), Brisbane to 19.9 per cent (down 1.1 per cent), and Perth to 16.7 per cent (down 1.7 per cent).

The Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and Melbourne experienced an upswing in interstate rental inspections, with 30 per cent of rental inspections on the Sunshine Coast originating from interstate, while Melbourne recorded 16.5 per cent of inspections from outside the state, and the Gold Coast witnessed 18.4 per cent.

“We’re starting to see some correction in the market after consecutive and surprise rate hikes, but whether this continues will depend on what happens after the interest rate increase in June,” Mr York concluded.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) handed down a “divisive” decision to further hike rates during its June meeting to an almost 12-year high of 4.10 per cent — which industry experts warned was an uncharted territory that puts the country “at risk [of] driving the economy closer to a recession”.

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