Chinese buyers flooding back in to snap up Aussie property as prices fall due to COVID-19 crisis
Chinese buyers are rushing back into the Australian property market as prices fall and the Australian dollar takes a beating due to the coronavirus crisis, industry experts say.
Prices have fallen by around 10 per cent since the start of the crisis in some places, with some predicting falls of up to 30 per cent as unemployment rises into the double digits for the first time in decades.
“A lot of the mainland Chinese are seeing this as an opportunity to exploit a great deal because that’s what they’re going to see in the property market in the next six months,” real estate industry adviser Robert Klaric told Nine’s A Current Affair.
“What we’ll see is the wealthy mainland Chinese will look towards Australia now to secure their wealth, and secure their health.”
He added, “They have a lifestyle here, they have freedom and they can protect their wealth from the Chinese Communist Party.”
Property prices and consumer sentiment have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in major cities like Melbourne and Sydney where demand is driven by overseas investment.
However some, such as investment expert Richard Sheppard, believe prices in areas like Sydney won’t go any lower.
George Chmiel from Chinese property portal Juwai said inquiries from Chinese buyers only dipped 14 per cent in the first quarter, compared with 40 per cent for local buyers.
“China is back in business much earlier than the rest of the world,” Mr Chmiel told the program.
He said Chinese demand had remained strong for a number of reasons, including Australia’s successful handling of the coronavirus crisis.
“Australia is very attractive for students, investors and retirees, and also the Australian property market is very resilient,” he said.
“Chinese buyers like Australian real estate, especially over UK and US real estate, given the COVID crisis has hit the UK and US much, much stronger.”
He added that the battered Aussie dollar was also a factor.
“The Australian dollar is down 10 per cent against some of the currencies, so that’s a nice buffer which people can include in their budgets,” he said.
Michael Pallier from Sotheby’s International Realty in Sydney’s eastern suburbs told the program there had been strong interest from Asian buyers.
“They can’t get enough of it. Clean air, clean food, great education, safe environment – it’s paradise for them,” he said.
His wife, Lulu Pallier, agreed. “There is always demand and the Chinese people will always like Australia,” she said.