Aussie expats take advantage of dollar fall to invest in upscale homes

Published:  5 Dec at 6 PM
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The week Australian dollar along with the Brexit and Trump effects are being projected to merge into a perfect storm of upscale property purchases by wealthy expat Aussies.

According to top-of-the-range real estate agents, the surge has already begun, with enquiries about prestige properties from Australian citizens living and working overseas now at a higher rate that at any time in the past five years. According to one, since the Oz dollar fell below 80 US cents, potential buyers are looking at an effective 30 per cent discount on property prices. Another indication is that expat buyers in Asian hotspots such as Singapore are purchasing for investment without even inspecting their chosen properties.

In Sydney, expat buyers are favouring districts such as Bellevue Hill, Paddington, Rose Bay, Darling Point and Elizabeth Bay, intending to rent out their properties for several years before making arrangements to return home and live in their upscale homes. Others, of course, are buying with an eye to long term investment, looking to let for extra income and pocket capital gains once the property is sold. Buyers in Melbourne are looking for properties with access to good schools, such as those in Brighton, Hawthorne, South Yarra and Toorak, indicating their wish to return to Oz sooner than those buying purely for investment.

At present, some 350,000 Australian expatriates are scattered across a number of Western countries, with the UK a traditional favourite. However, the looming threat of Brexit has convinced many their lifestyles will be badly damaged by the UK's decision to leave the EU, and are making arrangements to return to their country of origin. Even the mandatory deposit of 20 per cent levied on non-Oz resident buyers and the increased difficulty of getting a mortgage as an expat isn’t putting off those determined to invest as well as providing a safe haven for their eventual return.
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