Between July 1 and September 30, 2023, offshore buyers received approval for the purchase of 1374 properties valued at $1.5 billion, down from the 1932 approvals totaling $2.4 billion in the preceding quarter.
Although China remained the largest investor in the nation’s real estate, the Quarterly Report on Foreign Investment by the federal Treasury indicated a waning interest, with approvals dropping from 826 properties worth $1.1 billion to 523 properties worth $700 million.
Nonetheless, over 53 percent of the total investment in this quarter originated from mainland China and Hong Kong combined. Hong Kong buyers contributed $100 million to real estate purchases, matching the investments made by buyers from Vietnam, India, and Taiwan, respectively.
While only Australian citizens and permanent residents are eligible to purchase property, international buyers can seek permission through the Foreign Investment Review Board.
Daniel Ho, the co-founder and group managing director of Juwai IQI, noted that due to China’s delayed recovery from the pandemic, buying activity was still in the process of rebounding. He anticipated that purchasing would accelerate faster compared to other Asian countries, despite lower Chinese buyer inquiries due to reduced travel to Australia during the country’s holiday season.
Monika Tu, the director and founder of Black Diamondz Group, highlighted a significant slowdown in Chinese companies’ investments in Australian development projects, attributing it to a lack of buyers. This decline was particularly noticeable in new high-rise buildings, influenced by interest rate hikes and Covid-related travel restrictions from China, which were lifted only in 2023.
Despite these challenges, mainland China and Hong Kong combined continued to account for 53 percent of total investment in Australian homes during the most recent quarter.
Looking ahead, there are expectations of a rebound in investment from Chinese buyers as Covid restrictions ease, with Indian real estate investment also showing a notable surge, potentially reaching record levels for the financial year if current trends persist.