Scott Picken, CEO of International Property Solutions (IPS) believes a paradigm shift is occurring: 8 years ago, people would only invest in property in their own neighbourhood. Now, investors are starting to seek the best investments globally. IPS was created 5 years ago to facilitate international investments and provide an end-to-end solution to ensure that investors can invest with confidence!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Chinese Million-dollar sales force up property prices

FORGET the "for sale" sign, the new catch-cry in Melbourne's leafy suburbs is "duoshao qian".

Victoria's top real estate agents have begun hiring Mandarin-speaking salesmen to cash in on the property boom.

Translated, "duoshao qian" means "how much"? And it's a question being asked more than ever before, The Herald Sun reports.

Leading agents say more than 30 per cent of their stock is bought by families from mainland China.

"This calendar year 34 per cent of our sales went to mainly Chinese buyers compared to 15 per cent last year. We're up 125 per cent overall," Jellis Craig director Scott Patterson said.

"Demand is so strong we've got two native speaker agents starting next week."
Related Coverage

* Homes bonanzaHerald Sun, 20 Sep 2009
* Bonus sparks auction blitzHerald Sun, 19 Sep 2009
* Fears homes are rallying on shaky, 22 Aug 2009
* Will sell if price is rightHerald Sun, 8 Aug 2009
* Home buyers in tight spotThe Australian, 1 Aug 2009

Some agents say the boom grew when the Federal Government eased foreign investment rules on property last year.

"There's been an incredible surge from Chinese buyers since the rules for foreign ownership of real estate were relaxed by the Government to allow foreign citizens to buy established homes worth more than $300,000," buyers' advocate Mal James said.

"You could say that's the key driver and single reason for the property boom in Victoria especially for homes in the $1 million-$4 million range and it's also the catalyst for so many Chinese buyers."

Mr James says his clients are facing competition from cashed-up Chinese buyers, especially in Kew, Canterbury and Balwyn. There is also Asian interest in Toorak, Malvern and East Malvern.

He says the Chinese are attracted by areas with quality private schools.

The Asian buying spree is pushing up prices and adding to the housing shortage.

"There's no doubt it's adding about 15 per cent to prices and creating a shortage because the buyers are not selling out of an existing home," Mr Patterson said.

Australia permitted 4015 foreign investors to buy homes worth an estimated $2.97 billion in 2007-08, Foreign Investment Review Board research shows.

Victoria had the highest approvals of any state, soaring to 2238 last year, almost double that of the year before. A rise is expected for 2009.

Former plastic surgeon and financial planner Jin Shang will be Jellis Craig's first Mandarin-speaking agent from next week, and he can't wait.

"China is the world's strongest economy and Australia's major trading partner," he said.

"Chinese want residential properties here because they feel comfortable in Australia's multicultural environment and they know it has one of the world's best education systems."

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