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What’s hot in the eyes of overseas buyers?

There’s a lot of talk in the property market at the moment about foreign buyers. But what are they really looking for in Australian property and where are they buying?

Based on research and statistics from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) the top 11 overseas investor markets in dollar terms, according to the latest FIRB report, looks like this:

  1. China $12,406m
  2. USA $6,135m
  3. Singapore $4,303m
  4. Canada $2,945m
  5. Malaysia $2,038m
  6. UK $1,795m
  7. Netherlands $1,720m
  8. NZ $1,362m
  9. Hong Kong $1,279m
  10. Germany $1,169m
  11. South Korea $1,083m

What type of property are they buying?

In 2013-2014 approved foreign investment in Aussie real estate was worth $74.6 billion, up from $51.9 billion in 2012-2013.

This included 23,054 proposals worth $34.72 billion in residential real estate – up by more than 100% from $17.16 billion and 11,668 proposals in 2012-2013 – and $39.88 billion worth of commercial real estate investment based on 374 proposals.

Commercial real estate’s value and number of proposed investments didn’t grow quite as vigorously year-on-year; in 2012-2013 there were 357 proposals worth $34.75 billion, according to the FIRB report.

The residential real estate figures included proposals to buy:

  • Existing properties
  • Vacant land
  • Off-the-plan
  • New dwellings
  • Redevelopment properties

Commercial real estate figures included proposals to buy:

  • Developed property (including shopping centres, offices, warehouses, motels and hotels)
  • Land zoned for development

The biggest sub-sectors of real estate investment in 2013-2014 were:

  • New dwellings sold off-the-plan by developers with foreign interests (worth $16.38 billion, up from $5.73 billion in 2012-2013)
  • Individual foreign buyers of new dwellings (11,338 individual investments in total, up from 4,499 in 2012-2013)
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