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The staggering amount foreign buyers spent on Australian property in just nine months

New figures show jawdropping foreign spend with Chinese contributing as the biggest buyers of Aussie homes.

New figures from the Federal Treasury have shown that foreign buyers spent an astonishing $5.3 billion on Australian residential properties in just nine months. The data, covering the first three financial quarters of 2023, reveals that more than 4,700 homes across the country were snapped up by overseas investors.

Chinese buyers emerged as the dominant force, purchasing 1,955 homes valued at $2.5 billion. Hong Kong investors also significantly impacted the market, spending around $300 million on 400 properties. Other notable foreign buyers included those from Vietnam, who acquired 259 homes, and Taiwanese purchasers, who secured 272 properties.

While the Treasury’s register has not yet released figures for the final three months of 2023, experts anticipate the trend of high spending by foreign investors to persist. This news comes as Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond has put his luxurious Wingadal mansion on the market, with an expected price tag of $200 million.

Cameron Kusher of PropTrack Economic Research emphasized that the foreign purchases are unlikely to affect first-time homebuyers, as the majority of these sales involve high-end, expensive properties. “Australia is a popular destination for international investors, but these overseas buyers are not impacting the market,” Kusher told the Daily Telegraph. “The properties they’re buying are ‘out of reach of first home buyers’.”

Isabelle Lucas of buyer’s agency Cohen Handler attributed Sydney’s attractiveness to foreign investors to its consistently rising house prices and desirable lifestyle. “Sydney has a ‘very attractive lifestyle’ and that access to well regarded schools is also a factor,” Lucas said. “Proximity to good private schools is definitely a trend we’re seeing in international buyers at the moment, that’s something we’ve honed in on the eastern suburbs particularly.”

One notable example of foreign investment in the Sydney market is the recent sale of a Lavender Bay mansion owned by Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan and his wife Lucinda. The property, located in Sydney’s lower north shore, was purchased by a Hong Kong buyer for approximately $17 million.

David Boyd, CEO of Credit Card Compare, told us, “The influx of foreign investment in the Australian property market is a testament to the country’s strong economic fundamentals and attractive lifestyle,” said Boyd, “While these high-end purchases may not directly impact first-time homebuyers, they contribute to the overall confidence and stability of the housing sector. However, policymakers must balance welcoming foreign investment and ensuring the market remains accessible to local buyers at all levels.”

As the Australian property market continues to draw significant interest and investment from abroad, it remains to be seen how this trend will shape the landscape for local buyers and sellers in the coming months and years.

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