Knox agents loook to Chinese buyers
BY TARA MCGRATH AND CAMERON LUCADOU-WELLS
16 May, 2012 04:00 AM
REAL estate agents in Knox are courting overseas Chinese buyers through a new Mandarin website.
The website gifang.com promotes houses, apartments and land in Melbourne, including in the south-east, to a claimed 315 cities in China.
It promotes listings from agents such as Barry Plant, Biggin Scott, Century 21, Buxton, Fletchers and Hocking Stuart on a Chinese portal and an English version, ourproperties.com.au. Biggin Scott Knox chief executive officer Adam Flynn said Australia was a popular choice for Chinese investors because they could “buy land with confidence”.
He said Knox was increasingly appealing to overseas buyers because it was becoming a multicultural area. “We see there a lot of Chinese students at The Knox School in Wantirna South, and now we’re seeing more moving out to Boronia and Bayswater.”
One of the conditions of the website is that the property must be marketed at the same price as in Australia. “But it does give the vendors more options, ensures a better price and a sale,” Mr Flynn said.
Gifang.com chief executive Michael Yang said buyers based in China had plenty of cash to invest elsewhere. He said the Chinese were restricted to one investment property in their home country “to control their own property bubble”.
Mr Flynn said an average home cost between $1 million-$2 million for a 70-year leasehold. “Most Chinese would dream to live in Australia. They want to move their kids out here to study and live so they might buy three off-the-plan apartments: one for their kid, and rent the other two.”
The sales are subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval. The board, under direction of the federal government, rejects sales of established homes, but encourages overseas buyers to invest in new housing stock such as house-and-land packages, farms, vacant blocks and off-the-plan homes.
The board stated in its recent annual report that it approved $176.7 billion in real estate proposals in 2010-11.