CASHED-up property buyers from China are expected to flock to Melbourne next week, as Saturday’s Chinese New Year kicks off one of their peak househunting periods.
Australia, and Melbourne in particular, are tipped to be top destinations during this year’s “Chinese Lunar New Year Golden Week” — a week-long national holiday when millions of Chinese travel domestically and abroad, many setting their sights on real estate.
Almost 600 million Chinese jetted off during the holiday last year.
Even more are expected to do so in 2017, with China’s largest travel agency Ctrip naming Australia as the fifth most popular destination, behind Thailand, Japan, the US and Singapore.
Juwai.com chief executive Charles Pittar said there was typically a “spillover from tourism to property” when wealthy Chinese travellers came Down Under — especially when they came to Melbourne.
“They love the place, then end up sending their child here to study and buy a home,” he said.
Chinese New Year is expected to bring property buyers to Australia — Melbourne in particular. The Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne (pictured) will be part of the celebrations.
A survey of 120 Chinese investors by the international property website found almost half of those who planned to travel internationally during Golden Week said they’d engage in property hunting during the trip.
Realestate.com.au figures indicate Point Cook, Rowville, Glen Waverley, Doncaster and Mount Waverley in particular could welcome a wave of Chinese investors next week, being the suburbs most searched by its Chinese users in second half of 2016.
Balwyn, Ringwood, Box Hill, Camberwell and Doncaster East round out the top 10 list, which is dominated by areas in Melbourne’s middle ring and east of the CBD.
Harcourts, Wyndham City, senior sales partner Glen Wilson said he noticed a spike in offshore investors from China attending open for inspections and making inquiries about Point Cook homes in last year’s Golden Week.
He said one Chinese buyer snapped up a house in the Sanctuary Lakes estate during the 2016 holiday that he’d never even visited, and his cousin bought the house next door soon after, after flying over to inspect it.
“They like that Point Cook is multicultural, it’s close to the city but affordable and has newer houses. They generally want something quite contemporary,” Mr Wilson said.
Investorist founder Jon Ellis said Chinese buyers had traditionally sought apartments in the Melbourne CBD or within a 5km radius, but had now expanded their search to house and land packages in new estates.
“The holiday is traditionally a time when families get together and make investment decisions, often combined with researching good schools, making the educational hub of Melbourne particularly desirable,” he said.