Monika Tu

PHOTO: Luxe Listings Sydney star and leading real estate agent Monika says demand for luxury homes has never been higher. SUPPLIED

Leave the rabbit behind and welcome the dragon. The convergence of celestial elements, as dictated by the Chinese zodiac and a surge in global interest, positions this year as one of significance. Affluent buyers, armed with substantial financial resources amounting to as much as $100 million each, are gearing up for the lunar new year.

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Amidst the hunt for premium real estate, ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) are not just eyeing pristine properties; the approaching year of the “wood” dragon hints at the allure of potential fixer-uppers. Monika Tu, the visionary behind Black Diamondz agency, notes an unprecedented desire for Australian real estate as the new lunar year approaches.

“The demand for luxury property is at an all-time high. We’ve received numerous inquiries from individuals eager to make property acquisitions before and during the Chinese New Year,” Tu remarked.

Prospective buyers are targeting residences with price tags in the millions, with demand significantly outstripping the current supply. Tu recently took to social media, appealing for luxury property listings and disclosed having 15 qualified buyers in the $8 million to $45 million range. However, the bar is rapidly rising, with inquiries reaching up to $100 million for some buyers.

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Australia’s ultra-high-net-worth individuals, defined as those possessing a net wealth exceeding US$30 million (AUD$45 million), are poised for substantial growth. The Wealthy Report 2023 by Knight Frank projects a remarkable 40.9% increase in this demographic over the five years, surging from 17,456 in 2022 to 24,589 by 2027.

While not exclusively Chinese, the majority of Ms. Tu’s buyers originate from mainland China, Vietnam, or Singapore. However, all share the common requirement of possessing the necessary visa, either temporary or permanent, as mandated by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

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Sydney’s eastern suburbs, lower, and upper north shore are hotspots for these high-profile acquisitions. The preference leans towards waterfront properties with jetties, expansive water views, or ample land. Interestingly, there’s a shift in the preferences of the new generation of Asian buyers, with an increasing demand for coastline properties and country estates outside of Sydney.

The recent discontinuation of a business visa program, constituting a quarter of the nation’s migration allocations, has impacted migration dynamics. Nevertheless, Ms. Tu has observed a surge in out-of-state purchasers, originally from South East Asia, showing interest in Sydney properties. Three out of ten inquiries come from Adelaide or Brisbane, where acquiring permanent residency is reportedly easier compared to New South Wales.

As the Year of the Wood Dragon commences on February 10, it is believed to bring about growth, progress, and abundance. In Chinese culture, the dragon symbolizes success, intelligence, and honor. The upcoming lunar new year is seen as an auspicious time to establish a solid foundation for endeavors with long-term potential.

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Reflecting on the symbolism of wood, which represents construction, the Year of the Dragon suggests a favorable time for making strategic investments. Whether renovating or building anew, this year presents an opportunity for adding value. Monika Tu concludes with a playful call to those with old, rundown houses, encouraging them to seize the moment and get in touch.