CHINA’S cashed-up property buyers have their sights set firmly on Queensland’s real estate market, with sales to Chinese nationals up nearly 90 per cent to $870 million in the past financial year.
The latest report into foreign ownership, tabled in State Parliament this week, showed Chinese land purchases soared by $400 million last financial year. The value of Singapore’s new acquisitions also increased, as had those of Hong Kong-based investors.
The Courier-Mail revealed Chinese real estate tycoon and Dalian Wanda Group chairman Wang Jianlin would be assisted by the State Government to find development projects in Queensland, which could include a new theme park.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday spoke of the increasing importance of Queensland’s growing links with China.
“As a government, we know how important this market is,” she said.
“We also know proximity to all of Asia is an opportunity.”
Ms Palaszczuk visited China and Japan on a trade mission.
“They are watching our economy closely, especially with a lower Aussie dollar,” she said.
“These two nations are our most important trading partners, particularly in agriculture and tourism, but, increasingly, in high-end technology.”
China bought property totalling $872.5 million in 2014-15, up from $463 million the previous financial year and $323 million in 2012-13.
Singapore claimed $421.5 million in purchases, up from $157.9 million, and $111.9 million in purchases were recorded by
Hong Kong investors.
The foreign ownership register shows 3.4 per cent of Queensland’s available land, or 5.8 million hectares, is tied up with foreign interests, up from 3.2 per cent in 2013-14.
Of that, 2.2 million hectares are owned by UK interests and 548,000ha by the US.
China’s investment in the Brisbane City Council area was $382 million, with $372 million pouring into the Gold Coast.
Chinese-buyer-focused real estate portal Juwai.com co-chief executive Andrew Taylor said there was significant growth potential.
“Even investors from Switzerland own more land in Queensland than do Chinese,” he said.
“China’s stock of foreign assets is still small, given the size of its economy, and that’s one reason you can expect large annual Chinese purchases to continue for many years.”
Mr Taylor said Brisbane and Gold Coast sellers were cashing in and making a tidy profit, especially off Chinese developers.
“I would hesitate to put too firm a number on it, but if present trends continue you can expect to see another big increase in these reports for each of the next several years. There will be short term ups and downs, but the long-term trend is up.”
Major real estate agencies have opened Chinese arms and are producing versions of their websites in Mandarin as they tap into demand.
Ray White, which has been
working in Asia for almost 20 years, now has over 130 offices spread through the region including China, India, Malaysia and South Korea.
It also has a multilingual China Desk team working out of its Sydney office promoting Australian and New Zealand property to
Ray White Broadbeach prestige property consultant Sam Guo said there had been a definite jump in
Chinese buyers, with a new trend of those living in southern capitals now looking at new building in Queensland.
“That’s one reason more new apartments and homes are being built,” he said.
“Also the weather, climate and lifestyle really attract them as well. Pricing in Sydney and Melbourne is too high, that’s why we are seeing growth in Queensland.”