Despite the regulatory restrictions, and the banks’ new curbs on lending to foreign property investors, a new survey suggests Chinese buyers remain undaunted when it comes to purchasing property in Australia.
When asked to name the aspect of the buying process they considered to be the most difficult, only 25% of respondents to Juwai.com’s March Chinese Consumer Survey cited financing or transferring money to pay for overseas property as being difficult.
This may have surprised many considering Beijing’s recent attempts to reduce the amount of money leaving the country for investment.
In contrast, 33% of respondents said navigating the legal system and legal processes was the most difficult aspect of buying property overseas.
Another third chose “selecting property” as their biggest challenge.
“Figuring out foreign legal systems is the hardest challenge for buyers. That highlights the importance of simplified visa programs, easy settlement procedures and buyer-friendly foreign investment procedures in enabling foreign investment,” said Charles Pittar, CEO of Juwai.com.
The survey also revealed a growing preference for new homes, with 77% of respondents rating their interest in new homes at 8-10 (on a scale of 1-10).
However, existing homes were also considered appealing, with 42% rating their interest in existing homes at 8-10.
“Nearly twice as many respondents prefer new homes than existing or second-hand property. They feel that new property is easier to manage, of more dependable quality and cheaper to maintain than existing property,” said Pittar.
Just as notably, Chinese buyers were fast movers last year, with 73% of buyers spending less than six months on property research before purchasing.
Another 11% said they purchased within six to 11 months.
“Chinese buyers are closing transactions more quickly today than in the past. Seventy-three percent of Chinese buyers spent fewer than six months researching real estate before buying, while in previous years it was very common for buyers to spend 12 or 18 months researching a transaction,” said Pittar.