- July 27, 2013
CHINESE interest in the Perth property market is rising rapidly with buyers targeting apartments in South Perth, Canning Vale, East Perth and Thornlie.
According to the founders of what claims to be the biggest Asian website for Mandarin speakers buying international property, searches for Perth listings soared by more than 1000 per cent in the first half of this year.
The Shanghai-based directors of Juwai.com, Andrew Taylor and Simon Henry, originally from Queensland, said that 12 months ago Perth didn’t rate at all. But since then it had experienced the biggest gains in listing searches in Australia.
Mr Henry said buyers were attracted by Australia’s stable government and economy, reputation for a good lifestyle and good education centres.
“And everything just got 20 per cent cheaper with the devaluation of the Australian dollar,” he said.
He predicted mid-range apartments in Perth ($300,000 to $800,000) would be increasingly popular among the growing Chinese upper-middle class buying accommodation for their children.
“Those buyers are putting about 70 per cent of their disposable income into their children’s education and sending them to universities overseas,” he said. “They’re mostly looking to buy, rather than rent.”
Australian foreign investment laws prohibit the sale of established homes to overseas investors unless they plan to demolish the home and build new. Off-the-plan apartments and new dwellings may be bought, but foreign applicants must first apply to the Foreign Investment Review Board.
Mr Henry said with that in mind, off-the-plan apartments and new builds were both popular, though established homes for students who would be temporary residents were sometimes bought through a local family.
“They will buy through a family already resident, so the sale might start with an overseas client and the transaction will go through a local Chinese resident,” he said.
L.J. Hooker was one of the first WA agencies to advertise with Juwai.com.
Hooker’s regional manager, Ken Preston, said education was one of the main reasons Chinese buyers were looking at Perth. The most sought-after areas were close to universities and strong local amenities, he said.
“Murdoch and Nedlands are popular and to a lesser extent Joondalup,” he said.