Expat investors discover Brisbane real estate

Published:  9 Jul at 6 PM
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Following a tough time in the sector, Brisbane’s real estate market is surging due to demand from expat investors.

Over the past year, the Queensland capital has recorded a significant increase in the number of expat property purchasers attracted by bargain prices. Demand has risen by 6.7 per cent over the past 12 months, with real estate agencies reporting the vast majority of purchasers were expatriates. Houses in the upscale districts of Paddington, Indooroopilly and East Brisbane proved the most popular, with those looking for apartments heading for the Gold Coast and the suburb of Currumbin seeing the highest demand in the entire state. There’s been much talk recently about the Australian housing boom slowdown, but the news from Brisbane suggests it’s heading into another increase.

One local economist told the media that property purchase activity in the inner city and the eastern areas has resulted in a 10 per cent increase in buyer interest, with many inspections resulting in deals being done. Prices, she added, should start to pick up in the very near future. Traditionally, Brisbane house prices have lagged behind those in Melbourne and Sydney, making it the most affordable of all Australian’s second cities. As with everywhere else, Chinese buyers are predominating, with demand soaring by 35 per cent over the 12 months from May last year

One lucky realtor managed to sell a prestige property to an expatriate buyer living and working in Hong Kong on a ‘sight unseen’ basis. When asked about the unusual sale, the agent said his company is seeing a lot of similar activity nowadays. High-income earning Australians who’ve been working overseas, he added, are showing interest in returning to a luxury home as a proof of their success. It seems lifestyle and schooling are the main motivations for expat returnees, along with clients leaving Melbourne and Sydney for Brisbane’s quieter and less frenetic lifestyle. At present, the city fathers are involved in massive infrastructure improvements and property prices are still representing top value for money, especially for incomers with young families.
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