Xenophobia rules. Find out where buyers are really coming from- Michael Matusik

Buyers are rushing in from overseas.  Heaps more are coming from interstate.  Locals are being beaten at the post by out-of-state buyers.


Hmmm, the statistics show quite a different story.


Eight out of ten (83%) residential properties sold in Queensland over the last 12 months were purchased by locals.  One in ten (11%) was bought by an interstate buyer & just 6% were purchased by someone living overseas.

Overseas buying

Overseas buying varies considerably across the state, with Brisbane attracting the most interest with 11% of its property selling overseas last year.

The Gold Coast attracted an 8% overseas market share, whilst many of the major regions sold between 5% & 8% of their homes (including apartments & townhouses) to overseas buyers during the 12 months ending September 2013.[sam id=34 codes=’true’]

All 25 major urban areas in Queensland made some sales overseas this year.  A year ago, just under 3% of the state’s residential property sold off shore.

The recent interest in Queensland housing from overseas is likely to continue.  But it is coming from a low base.

It is hard to envisage, say 10%, of Queensland’s housing selling consistently overseas.

This might happen as the Queensland market peaks in coming years, but the long-term trend is something in the order of a 5% overseas sales rate.

Queensland residential property is mainly purchased (in order of sales volumes) by New Zealanders; the English; Singaporeans; Chinese (including Hong Kong/Taiwan); Papua New Guineans; South Africans; South East Asians (no country really stands out) & Europeans (again, no country stands out, including Russia, despite what the Gold Coast newsprint says).

Interstate interest

Interstate buyers are most interested in buying an apartment in Queensland.  One in four Queensland apartments, last year, was sold interstate.

In addition, every fifth Queensland townhouse – including second-hand stock – sold interstate.

In contrast, just 5% of Queensland’s detached houses sold to an interstate buyer last year.

The graphic below illustrates the spread in interstate buying across Queensland last year, with about a third of the homes in Isaac (Clermont; Dysart & Moranbah), for example, selling to investors living elsewhere in Australia.

Interstate interest in Queensland housing is set to increase.  Most interest is likely to come from New South Wales & especially from western & southern Sydney, as Sydney investors (and owner residents) are forced out of their local market.

Many parts of Queensland, and especially the south-east corner of the state, will be increasingly attractive in terms of both end price & rental returns.

Property types

A quick analysis of Queensland sales last year finds:

Detached houses

  • 90% local buyers
  • 5% interstate
  • 5% overseas 


  • 74% local sales
  • 21% interstate
  • 5% overseas


  • 66% local buyers
  • 25% interstate
  • 9% overseas

What does this mean?

  • Most sales, and especially for established resale stock, take place locally.  Most local buyers live within a short commute of the property they have purchased.  This applies to investors too.
  • Locals have a good understanding – generally – of the local market conditions.  They will inspect your property & revisit (maybe several times) before making an offer.  Good physical presentation of the property (including quality signage/photography) is very important.
  • Internet based marketing still applies, as most, regardless of location; begin searching via brand property portals & agency websites.  Promotion via a more traditional means is also important as local buyers read the real estate sections of Queensland newspapers when looking to buy or sell.
  • Time on the market is important.  Local sales promotions can go cold very quickly & especially in a rising market, as any property that lingers ‘for sale’ for any length of time, will be either considered overpriced or flawed by the local market.  It is hard to hide when selling locally.
  • Interstate & overseas buyers – especially investors – require considerable data/market support.  They like 3rd party endorsement.  The more independent the better.  This particularly applies to off-plan property.  Those sellers/agencies that get this right, often make a faster sale.



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Michael is director of independent property advisory Matusik Property Insights. He is independent, perceptive and to the point; has helped over 550 new residential developments come to fruition and writes his insightful Matusik Missive

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