Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Chinese Big Buyers In Soleil

"... let me start this week with four facts about what is happening in the Australian dwelling market that may surprise you.

First, if metals prices keep falling and take the Australian dollar down further (as is widely predicted) some segments of the Australian residential market may actually benefit.

Second, one of the fastest growth markets for apartments is those without garages. There is very little street parking available so many residents are now living without a car – this is a significant change in traditional Australian living.

Third, living intensity is increasing as apartment dwellers are not only seeking apartments without garages but are also seeking a design that will allow them to rent one of the rooms to another party.

Finally, one of our big banks has suddenly decided to fund buyers of middle- or lower-priced Sydney apartments – a market all major banks have shunned for years.

Late last week, the biggest Australian apartment owner and builder Harry Triguboff and I had a conversation about the major changes happening in his Meriton apartment business. The Chinese are currently buying about half of all his apartments because they are much cheaper than equivalent apartments in major Chinese cities. And if the Australian dollar falls, dwellings will be even cheaper for the Chinese.

The Chinese are buying up big in Brisbane, but not in Surfers Paradise, partly explaining the sudden weakness of the Surfers market. Others tell me the Chinese are also very active in buying Melbourne residential property.

The Chinese sometimes buy apartments for their student children or for themselves to live in, but usually they remain landlords and rent the properties out. Most of the focus of Chinese investment in Australia is on the spectacular multi-billion dollar corporate moves which obscure what is happening at the grass roots level. ... "

Business Spectator

No comments: