THESE are the suburbs where foreign buyers are most keen to own a slice of Queensland
OVERSEAS based buyers are keen on securing properties in Surfers Paradise more than any other part of Queensland.
New analysis of where foreign buyers search for properties in Queensland is dominated by beachside suburbs and those close to universities.
And while many think that China-based buyers are the group buying up big in our market, it is actually potential buyers from New Zealand who are searching in Queensland more than those from any other country.
In the past six months, there were 29,494 overseas-based buyers who searched for properties in Surfers Paradise on realestate.com.au.
The second most popular area was Noosa, which chalked up 19,687 searches followed by Broadbeach with 18,751.
St Lucia, home to the University of Queensland, was the most searched Brisbane suburb with 18,199 searches by overseas buyers in the past six months.
REA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee said while holiday hot spots were popular, Queensland’s universities had earned a strong reputation and many overseas parents wanted their children to do their study here.
As a result plenty were searching suburbs including St Lucia and Indooroopilly for places for their children to live while they studied.
Ms Conisbee said buying close to good universities was a key criteria for potential buyers from China and Singapore.
“They are very education focused,’’ she said, “while the rest of the world is all looking for Queensland beach suburbs.’’
Ms Conisbee said New Zealanders were particularly keen on searching in beach suburbs and didn’t restrict themselves to the southeast corner.
She said the restrictions on Chinese buyers moving money out of the country had, had an impact on how many were looking at property in Australia, although Queensland had not felt the downturn as much as other states.
“We have seen a drop off of about 25 per cent nationally,’’ she said.
“What is interesting though is Queensland has been the least affected. In Sydney it dropped about 44 per cent, in southeast Queensland it only dropped off around 10 per cent.
“I don’t know why, maybe Sydney is now considered too expensive, Queensland has been pretty affordable.’’
Ray White Surfers Paradise CEO Andrew Bell was not surprised Surfers Paradise was on the radar of overseas buyer.
He said it had the highest profile of any suburb on the Gold Coast and it was a natural magnet for many overseas tourists.
“I would suggest that when we consider buying it is natural to want to be as close to or part of all of those significant lifestyle choices that happen in central locations,’’ he said.
Mr Bell said it also had a wide variety of property types and price ranges so was appealing to a broad cross section of buyers.
He said there were a lot of new buildings under development at Surfers Paradise which meant it was the easiest buying option for foreign buyers.
Not only because it was easier to get foreign investment approval, but because it could be safely locked up and left when they weren’t in the country
“Most of our foreign purchasers are people who do not move here permanently but simply choose to have a holiday home here,’’ he said.
John Newlands of Professionals Surfers Paradise said the area had all the amenity international travellers and buyers were looking for.
From restaurants and high end hotels to the casino and golf courses plus high end international retailers.
Mr Newlands agreed it was mainly investors and holiday makers buying at Surfers Paradise with not so many overseas based buyers making a permanent move there.
Under Australian legislation foreign persons need to apply for foreign investment approval before buying residential real estate in Australia.
It is generally for newly built properties with an aim of their investment helping to create construction industry jobs.
Since May last year any foreign owner who leaves their property unoccupied for more than six months within a year will be charged an annual vacancy charge.
While foreign buyers are generally not allowed to buy existing properties in Australia those who are temporary residents and need a place to live can purchase as long as they sell the property when they leave Australia.
Temporary residents cannot buy established properties to rent out or for use as a holiday home.
SUBURBS MOST SEARCHED BY FOREIGN BUYERS
Surfers Paradise – 29,494
Noosa Heads – 19,687
Broadbeach – 18,751
St Lucia – 18,199
Southport – 18,134
Mooloolaba – 16,092
Burleigh Heads – 14,765
Indooroopilly – 14,142
Robina – 12,921
New Farm – 12,668
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN