Queensland offers the perfect combination for Chinese investors

  • Charlotte Durut 
  • The Courier-Mail
  • April 16, 2014 5:00AM
THE Australian real estate market is one of the top destinations for Asian investors, with Queensland in particular attracting buyers because of its affordable prices, strong infrastructure and quality education.
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A recent report from global law firm DLA Piper revealed buyers were also seeking a safe haven for their capital as global real estate markets entered a period of accelerated growth.

Chinese investment in Australian property climbed 75 per cent to a high of $5.4 billion in the 2012-2013 financial year, according to property listing website Juwai.com.

The group’s research showed Chinese investors prefer well known areas in southeast Queensland, particularly Brisbane and the Gold Coast, with the CBD and inner-city suburbs in the top 10 list of investment hot spots.

Sunnybank Hills, St Lucia, Yeronga, Alderley and Annerley also made the top 10 hot spot list.

On the Gold Coast, Chinese investors are flocking to Ashmore, Benowa, Broadbeach, Burleigh Heads and Carrara.

On the top 10 list of regional hot spots are the Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Cairns, Rockhampton and Townsville.

Juwai.com chief executive Andrew Taylor said Queensland’s reasonable property prices were a big drawcard for investors.

“In Queensland, investors can live like movie stars for less than a two-bedroom apartment in Beijing,” he said.

“Apartments in Beijing sell for 111 per cent more than in Brisbane, on a per square metre basis.”

Real estate agencies now servicing the steady influx of Chinese investors include McGrath, which launched a China Desk for Asian-based property inquiries late last year, and RE/MAX Australia and LJ Hooker, who have both signed partnership agreements with Juwai.com.

McGrath’s Brisbane sales manager Thomas McGlynn said the constant common threads for Chinese investment hot spots around Queensland were new or structurally solid homes with nearby educational facilities and infrastructure.

“It’s more and more evident that Chinese investors are buying properties in Queensland,” he said.

“In Brisbane, they like suburbs such as St Lucia, Hamilton, Newstead and New Farm as the homes are newer, while St Lucia also includes the University of Queensland.

“On the Gold Coast, Southport is popular with Chinese investors as it has new homes as well as a light-rail system, hospital and access to very good schools.

“Investors are also shifting to the Sunshine Coast.”

Ray White Broadbeach principal Larry Malan said the Chinese investment market could change dramatically once Chinatown in Southport commenced.

“Most of our sales have been around Clear Island Waters, Benowa Waters, along Main River in Sorrento, and Isle of Sorrento,” he said.

“Generally our Chinese buyers are cashed up and well to do and are not interested in properties that require any work.”

Yong Real Estate sales agent Tom XiaoYi, who markets homes in Brisbane’s southern suburbs, said this area was highly popular with Chinese investors.

“Chinese people typically invest in Asian areas such as Sunnybank, Macgregor, Robertson and Eight Mile Plains as well as Drewvale, Calamvale and Parkinson,” he said.

“Activity in this area is tremendous. Prices are still low and we’re very close to schools.”

LJ Hooker Bulimba sales agent Chris Lawsen, who has listed a five-bedroom home at 36 Byron St on Juwai.com owned by Katherine and Basil Parasyn, said the house ticked all the boxes for Chinese buyers.

“It’s large, modular and literally brand new,” Mr Lawsen said.

“It also has a pool and city views and is close to the river.”

The home is listed for $2 million plus.

AR Developments’ portfolio of new townhouse projects are designed to suit astute residential investors seeking competitive rental returns, as well as home buyers; situated in key Brisbane and Sunshine Coast suburbs with established local amenities and facilities.