Downturn-defiant expats putting their $201,000-plus earnings into Australian property: HSBC

Downturn-defiant expats putting their $201,000-plus earnings into Australian property: HSBC
Downturn-defiant expats putting their $201,000-plus earnings into Australian property: HSBC

Nearly half (46%) of Australians living out of the country have invested their earnings in property back home, according to the fourth annual HSBC Expat Explorer survey. 

In addition, 32% of expats living in Australia have also invested in Australian real estate despite Australia ranking 20th out of 31 on the survey’s league table of levels of disposable income. 

According to this measure of the survey, expats working in oil-rich Saudi Arabia, Russia and Qatar earn the highest levels of disposable income. 

The closest destination for Australian expats offering high levels of disposable income is Singapore, an eight-hour flight from Sydney, which ranked sixth out of 31 countries. 

Expat income: Where to save for your Australian property investment while working abroad? 

Disposable income rank

Country

1

Saudi Arabia

2

Russia

3

Qatar

4

Egypt

5

Bahrain

6

Singapore

6

Thailand

8

Vietnam

9

United Arab Emirates

9

Switzerland

17

US

20

Australia

20

Canada

24

UK

Source: HSBC Expat Explorer survey 

The survey found that more than one third (35%) of Australian expatriates are earning more than US$201,000, compared with just 25% of expats of any nationality. 

In addition, 74% of Australian expats overseas report a higher disposable income now that they are overseas (compared with 70% overall). 

Graham Heunis, head of retail banking and wealth management for HSBC in Australia, says the Australian pursuit of “wealth through property has clearly not been lost on Aussies overseas, with expats living in Australia also competing for property in the local market here”. 

The survey found that half of Australian expatriates make their own investment decisions, with more than half of these relying on family and friends for financial advice. Less than half (48%) have a financial advisor, 44% use their bank and 39% rely on the media. 

Heunis says Australian expats appear to be “downturn defiant”. 

Despite the global and social volatility going on in parts of the world at the moment, Australian expats appear to be financially resilient with higher disposable incomes compared to back in Australia.” 

Expats living in oil-rich Saudi Arabia are the wealthiest and have the highest levels of disposable income, according to the survey. 

Overall, nearly three-quarters (71%) of the 3,385 expats surveyed from more than 100 countries reported earning more since relocating to a new country. 

About 15% of Australian expats are actively looking or at least thinking about a move back to Australia, slightly higher than the global average of 14%. 

One-third (33%) of Australian expatriates overseas noted a deterioration in the political or wider social situation in their host country.

 

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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