Two top issues of the moment about Chinese property buyers in Australia: Juwai's Sure Jong

Two top issues of the moment about Chinese property buyers in Australia: Juwai's Sure Jong
Two top issues of the moment about Chinese property buyers in Australia: Juwai's Sure Jong

The two top issues of the moment relating to Chinese property buyers in Australia are the state of Chinese investment flowing into Australia and the vacancy tax proposed in the Federal Budget.

Sue Jong, chief of operations for Chinese international property portal Juwai.com said the biggest category of Chinese buyers are not investors at all.

"Nearly three-quarters of Chinese buyers are not affected by the proposed vacancy tax because they intend to occupy the property they are buying," she said.

“About 31 percent of Chinese buyers are investors not planning to occupy the property they buy.

"That’s the group potentially most affected by the vacancy tax. 

“Even within this group, most are unaffected because they can’t afford to leave their property empty in the first place.

"They need the rental income for their investment to succeed.

"That’s one reason rental guarantees are so popular with Chinese investment-oriented buyers. 

“One category of buyers who might be inclined to lead their properties empty for months at a time are the high net worth, lifestyle buyers.

"Because of their wealth, they are not expected to change their behavior due to the tax. About 13 out of every 100 Chinese buyers we work with is enquiring about property worth at least AU$1 million and fits into this category.

"Many of these buyers retain a primary residence in China and use their Australian home only part time.

“Of course, local Chinese buyers are not targeted by these rules, including recent immigrants, of which there are many.

"Australia is still one of the most appealing countries in the world for Chinese buyers. It has a complete package of all the main drivers, including returns, education, economic growth, employment opportunity, proximity and being well understood by Chinese."

“Out of fears for the potentially strangling impact of China’s capital controls or of that country’s economic reforms, many in Australia worry that Chinese investment is dropping.

“Juwai.com believes that in 2017 Chinese property investment is likely to be lower than in 2016 but will still be close to its recent record levels.

"For example, first quarter Chinese buying inquiries via Juwai.com were significantly lower than in the same period in 2016 but were nearly identical to the first quarter of 2015 — which set a record at the time.

“In just the past few weeks, Chinese investors have announced more than $6.4 billion of new or planned acquisitions of Australian property. Chinese investors at both the retail and the institutional level are excited by the opportunities in Australia.”

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