Stay calm: Local buyers dominate in Sydney's Sutherland Shire

The prospect of overseas non-citizens buying up newly built houses and apartments in bulk - all receiving multiple $5,000 grants under the NSW New Home Grant Scheme - was raised on the front page of today's Daily Telegraph.

It was wrapped within the suggestion that Chinese investors were keeping first home buyers out of the property market.


Right: The front page of The Daily Telegraph, Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The article plucked from nowhere - but sure to become part of property folklore - the prospect of an overseas buyer purchasing 20 off the plan apartments, allowing them to apply for 20 of the $5,000 grants.

All they must do is apply through the foreign investment review board - no easy task, I'd suggest - before getting the grant which is paid as a discount on stamp duty for properties worth up to $650,000 and vacant land worth up to $450,000.

Yes under the first home owner scheme, a buyer had to be an Australian citizen and had to live in the home for at least six months to qualify.

But under the New Home Owner Scheme which was introduced two years ago in the 2012 NSW state budget, buyers can own homes in their country of origin and still apply for the grant for the purchase of any NSW properties.

And because the grant is aimed at new construction investment stock, they don't have to live in it.

No doubt NSW Treasurer Mike Baird will tweak the eligibility a little under the weight of assuaging the Daily Telegraph readership. 

But while some pliable Sydneysiders get hot under the collar discussing Chinese property purchases, patterns of buyer demographic preferences continue to be confirmed.

Not quite a riot, but more than $100 million worth of units were sold on Saturday in a ­Cronulla apartment project, ­with 95% to local buyers.

The 600-apartment Bluestone ­Capital Ventures project will be built on land owned by the Cronulla Sutherland Leagues Club, heartland Daily Telegraph readership.

There were 220 apartments released on Saturday with 177 sold.

The project will be released in stages.

Cronulla Sharks captain Paul Gallen is understood to have ­registered interest in the next release through selling agents Colliers International.

The $300 million Woolooware Bay project was officially launched after more than 2,000 initial expressions of interest were received to buy in the project designed by award winning Architects Turner.

Bluestone managing director Ben Fairfax had previously signalled the key market for Woolooware Bay were first home buyers and last home buyers - who'd grown up in the shire and didn't want to have to leave to find suitable affordable housing.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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