Foreign investment in Australian real estate may be set to continue at an increased pace, with the Federal Treasurer pointing out that “skittish” Chinese investors are likely to be seeking refuge from their torrid home market.
An increasing number of wealthy Chinese investors wary of domestic market conditions may turn to Australia as a safe investment option.
Treasurer Joe Hockey highlighted the attractiveness of the Australian market to overseas investors in comments to the Wall Street Journal last week, addressing speculation over the impact of the devalued Chinese currency on foreign markets.
“Chinese investors are looking for safe, stable, secure investments,” Mr Hockey was quoted as saying.
According to the Treasurer, Australia’s international standing as a safe investment environment is likely to attract Chinese investors wishing to escape the volatile conditions of the past few weeks.
“Australian real estate is very attractive for them in that regard,” he said, singling out “skittish Chinese investors”.
Mr Hockey’s comments followed a torrid week of trading on international markets, largely triggered by an unexpected devaluation of the yuan by China’s central bank earlier this month.
The comments also come in light of Mr Hockey’s draft foreign investment legislation, introduced into parliament on 20 August.
The draft laws propose increased penalties for those found in breach of foreign investment laws, as well as a rise in the administrative costs associated with buying Australian property from overseas.