PHOTO: Chinese buyers are snapping up some of the most luxurious properties in Australia’s property markets – and they’re doing it with cash. THE AUSTRALIAN
In Melbourne, a frustrated local advocate expresses concern that Chinese buyers are acquiring numerous multimillion-dollar luxury properties in elite suburbs, pricing out local residents. In Toorak, a major agent reports that all sales in the last six months were to Chinese buyers, some even making cash purchases at significant premiums. David Morrell of Morrell and Koren describes the situation as “nuts,” citing property prices jumping by $2-3 million.
Morrell insists that the federal government should increase regulation in Sydney and Melbourne to balance foreign investment and allow locals to compete. According to NAB’s quarterly survey, foreign buyers, particularly Chinese, constitute 10% of the market, reaching a five-year high. There are calls, akin to Canada’s approach, to ban foreigners from buying investment properties in Australia.
Toorak buyer’s agent Alex Bragilevsky claims that wealthy Chinese buyers are using private jets to purchase mansions on the spot, contributing to $135 million in real estate deals in the past six months. While some, like Jeremy Fox, Director of RT Edgar at Toorak, see Chinese intervention positively, suggesting it strengthens the top end of the market, others are concerned about rising property prices.
Fox argues that Chinese buyers are motivated by a desire to invest in family homes in Australia, particularly for education purposes, given the appeal of top schools along tram lines in suburbs like Toorak, Armadale, Malvern, Hawkthorne, and Kooyong. Despite differing views on the impact, there is disagreement on whether Chinese buyers are solely responsible for pushing up property prices, with some attributing the rise to cash buyers unaffected by interest rate hikes.
In essence, the complex dynamics surrounding Chinese buyers’ influence on Melbourne’s luxury real estate market, coupled with varying perspectives and concerns about market distortion, prompt calls for regulatory measures to address the situation.