It’s Chinese holiday season as we approach the end of Golden Week, and the Australian property market has reported a fresh gold rush of Chinese buyers inspecting high-end property for sale around the country.
“It’s an important time on their calendar after their National Day last week and the planes coming here from China are reportedly full,” says Michael Pallier, principal of Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty. “A lot of parents are here visiting their children – and spending the rest of their time looking for property to buy.”
Sydney, traditionally, is receiving the highest level of interest, although Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Brisbane are also on their radar, and Perth more and more so.
“We’re starting to get Chinese interest in our property now,” says Perth-based William Porteous of William Porteous Properties International. “Prices here have come down so much in the last four to five years and overseas buyers are seeing real value.”
With the slump in the Australian dollar there are good pickings to be had nationwide, and with the Chinese sharemarket crash, many more cashed-up Chinese are looking to park money offshore in a secure environment, rather than seeking out investment returns. They’re free to buy new property in Australia, and existing property when it’s in the name of children studying here – or who convert their qualifications into work or permanent residence – or on behalf of other resident family members.
The favourite price range for these buyers nationally is from $3 million to up to $15 million, says Tony Crabb, national head of research at Savills International, or maybe a touch less for apartments. “But the fundamentals are the same wherever they buy – close to transport, schools, parks rather than beaches and proximity to the CBD.”
In Sydney, they are usually looking for large homes on the upper north shore, close to well-known private or good public schools with good reputations, and in the same areas where they might already have friends or relatives. Alternatively, they choose homes around the harbour.
“They tend to like good-sized homes with enough accommodation for the extended family or family and friends who’ll be visiting,” says Scott Farquhar of McConnell Bourn, who’s currently selling our cover home in Pymble. “They also like to have homes that are finished, and don’t need any work done to them.”And they do like stately-looking property. If they’ve spent a lot of money on something, then they want people to know it.”
In Melbourne, it’ll tend to be Balwyn North, Glen Iris, Hawthorn, Camberwell, Canterbury and Malvern, according to Crabb, in Queensland especially Brisbane or the Gold Coast, with Perth only recently coming online.
154 Mont Albert Road, Canterbury
Marshall White agent Davide Lettieri says this five-bedroom home in what the Domain ad describes as “a prestigious Golden Mile location” has been hugely popular. “The majority of interest is coming from either local or overseas Chinese buyers,” Mr Lettieri says. It’s close to several of Melbourne’s finest private and public schools and trams on Burke and Whitehorse Road are only 10 minutes walk away. The fact that the five-bedroom, three-bathroom home is double brick is also appealing.
29A Bobbin Head Road, Pymble
About $5.5 million
This grand estate with a formal driveway ticks all the boxes for potential Chinese buyers, says McConnell Bourn agent Scott Farquhar. On 2790sqm of land, close to schools and rail, it has six bedrooms, six bathrooms, a grand circular staircase, an elegant formal lounge and a huge casual living area. Outside is a saltwater pool and spa, a main alfresco pavilion and a second barbecue kitchen. “Everything is beautifully finished, so you could move straight in,” says Farquhar. “And with big gates at the front and a grand driveway, it looks very prestigious.” The current owners are moving interstate and have it for auction on October 31.
Sanbano, 60 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
From $2.75 million
With stunning ocean panoramas, full-floor sky homes on the higher reaches of this 25-level apartment tower directly opposite Coolangatta Beach, finished 18 months ago, have only just been put up for sale. Chinese buyers in Queensland tend to prefer apartments, says Tony Crabb, and new ones particularly. With an infinity pool, gym, putting green and sauna, these are being marketed by Unique Estates company director Nicolette van Wijngaarden.
7 Saunders Street, Mosman Park
About $12 million
High on a cliff over the river, this five-bedroom, six-bathroom home, with lift access to all levels, is one of the most magnificent for sale in the city. The lower floor has a spacious billiard room, a pool, gym, sauna and garden, there’s a formal dining room capable of seating large numbers and the master bedroom has a wide terrace with great views. There’s also a study or home theatre, and a sub-level penthouse yet to be finished. For sale via William Porteous Properties International.