Chinese buyers

PHOTO: Chinese buyers. FILE

Chinese buyers are being lured back to the Australian property market by generous government rebates of up to $50,000 on a new home, with calls to extend the incentive schemes past their expiry dates next year.

Lily Chong, the Perth-based Australian head of Chinese property portal Juwai IQI, said overseas buyers had started looking past the COVID-19 pandemic and were planning for when travel restrictions eased.

“Australia will pay foreigners up to $50,000 to buy a new home,” Ms Chong said.

“Australia will pay Chinese up to $50,000 to buy a new home, Australia will pay Hong Kong-ers, Australia will pay Malaysians – it doesn’t matter where you come from. It’s all in the interests of supporting the economy.”

Western Australia currently has the most generous incentives available to non-citizens, with a 75 per cent rebate on the foreign buyer duty for off-the-plan purchases, capped at $50,000.

In Victoria, rebates of up to $27,500 are available under the land transfer duty waiver scheme.

“Because of the pandemic, most foreign buyers don’t know about these incentives,” Ms Chong said.

“When we explain it to them, their eyes pop open. Buyers are rushing for us to get their deals done before the deadline expires.”

WA’s rebate scheme has been extended until October 21 next year, while Victoria’s ends on July 1.

Australian citizens can, in addition, take advantage of the federal government’s $25,000 HomeBuilder rebate for new home purchases or renovations, which will decrease to $15,000 at the end of the year before expiring in March.

Ms Chong predicted the incentives would shift overseas buyers from other parts of the country to WA and to a lesser extent, to Melbourne.

“Buyers in Queensland are now looking at Perth because of the incentives,” she said.

“Buyers who aren’t tied down to a specific location will go wherever they can to get the best deal. Right now, that’s Perth.”

She said there was a lot of interest now for “Airbnb-ready apartments” being sold by Juwai.

“They are pre-approved for short-term leasing, start from $303,000 and can deliver yields of 8 per cent,” she said.

Juwai says its Perth office now has more than a dozen overseas buyers who are taking advantage of the rebate, which can only be applied for after construction is completed and the applicant is registered on the title.

A spokesman for the WA Department of Finance said as of December 17, “no applications have been received from a foreign buyer for an off-the-plan duty rebate”.

The Grove Residences in Claremont.

The Grove Residences in Claremont. Source: Supplied