CASHED-UP Chinese buyers are set to bombard the Brisbane property market this year on the back of a trade war with the US and an influx of Asian students.
Foreign families have been flocking to buy homes — predominantly in the city’s west and south — to accommodate the unprecedented number of children studying in Queensland on international student visas.
Ahead of the Chinese New Year officially starting next week, buyers have been in the market for big homes close to good schools in suburbs like Indooroopilly and South Brisbane.
And the number of Chinese buyers looking to the sunshine state is set to grow as investors become increasingly nervous about buying real estate in America.
New figures from Chinese property portal Juwai.com reveal more than 33,000 mainland Chinese and Hong Kong students were studying in Queensland in 2018 — up from about 21,000 in 2015.
That’s a 57 per cent increase in just four years.
Real estate agents have revealed so-called tiger parents from Asia are willing to spend big for homes near the best schools and universities to ensure the success of their child — up to $100,000 more in some cases.
The most popular Queensland suburbs among Chinese buyers in 2018 were St Lucia, Indooroopilly, South Brisbane and Sunnybank, according to realestate.com.au.
Juwai.com chief executive Carrie Law said Chinese buying in Brisbane this year would be supported by strong growth in Chinese wealth, the appeal of Brisbane’s solid market, a lack of other investment opportunities and a possible shift in investment from the US due to the trade war.
Ms Law said the trade war was making some Chinese investors increasingly nervous about buying real estate in the US.
“Some of those investors may turn to Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and other parts of Queensland as a natural alternative,” Ms Law said.
“Chinese students who turn away from US schools and universities may choose Queensland instead.
“Since a lot of the Chinese real estate buying in Queensland is related to housing students, that would have big spill-over effects on local real estate investment.
“The trade war could mean more Chinese investment for Brisbane.”
Ms Law said Chinese buying in Brisbane was partly driven by families whose children were studying in the city and wanted to house them in a property they themselves owned.
“Many of the buyers we work with hope to defray or actually make a profit on their student housing costs,” she said.
“They buy a residence and rent out an extra bedroom to another student as a roommate.
“If the combination of that income and possible capital gains is high enough, the student could complete his or her studies having paid a net of zero for their housing.
“This year, we expect Chinese buyers to continue to focus their demand on new apartments and house and land packages.
“Compared to Sydney, Brisbane is more affordable and its foreign buyer stamp duty is one point lower, at 7 per cent versus 8 per cent.”
A Chinese buyer recently set a building record by paying $4.5 million for a second-hand apartment in the luxury Abian development in Brisbane’s CBD.
“This is just one of many examples that show Chinese buyers are still important,” Ms Law said.
Simon Caulfield of Place Estate Agents – Kangaroo Point, who negotiated the sale of the property at 3501/140 Alice Street, said the buyers had seen value in the Brisbane market, having purchased rural properties and a coastal asset as well as the apartment.
“Because they travel a lot, they love the concierge and privacy (Abian offers),” Mr Caulfield said.
“Everything is at their doorstep being in the CBD, including their son being able to get to school easily at Churchie.”
Robin Yu, principal of RE/MAX Masters- Coopers Plains, said the percentage of local buyers who were born in China had increased in the past five years.
“That’s as opposed to locally born Australians of Chinese descent,” Mr Yu said.
“Today, more often than not, they are Chinese born.”
Mr Yu said Chinese buyers purchasing for their children wanted property that met a certain criteria, including a convenient location, close to schools and close to the Asian community around Sunnybank.
He said they tended to like new houses with small yards.
“They have to travel a lot, so they want it to be easy to maintain,” he said.
“They also don’t have much experience with gardens.”
Pedro Tan, 30, and his fiancee, Sonia Zhuang, 29, have just bought a four-bedroom, brick and tile family home in Calamvale for $695,000.
The young couple from China have lived in Brisbane for nine years, but this is the first home they have bought together.
“The first time we went to the house, we didn’t think we could have it because we thought it was worth a lot more than what we actually paid because the house is so well kept,” Mr Tan said.
“The owner apparently had some very expensive taste.”
Mr Tan said they wanted to live in Calamvale because it was “quiet and peaceful” and “relatively convenient and affordable compared to Sunnybank and those areas”.
“Our parents are overseas, but are probably going to come and visit once or twice a year, so it’s also going to be a comfy home for them to come visit.”
Selling agent Simon Au of RE/MAX Masters said properties in the suburbs of Calamvale, Parkinson and Sunnybank Hills were popular among Chinese buyers as they had lots of family-sized, brick and tile homes.
“The Chinese market is a huge market, and Chinese buyers like to purchase and keep multiple properties — many of them will buy and keep for years and not sell them,” Mr Au said.
“I believe there will be more and more Chinese buyers in the future, as the Chinese see great potential in the Brisbane market, especially the southside areas in and around Sunnybank.”
TOP BRISBANE SUBURBS FOR CHINESE BUYERS
1. St Lucia
3. South Brisbane
(Source: Realestate.com.au, based on online property searches in 2018)
WHAT CHINESE BUYERS WANT
*Close to schools
Belmont acreage sells at auction for $1.85 million but buyers still cautious
It was a quiet weekend in the Brisbane auction market, with only 54 scheduled auctions and a reported clearance rate of 38 per cent.
Despite this, a grand five-bedroom house on two and a half acres (about a hectare) was sold for nearly $2 million in coveted Belmont in Brisbane’s south-east.
About 50 people watched as none of four registered bidders made a play for the architecturally designed home. Then a vendor’s bid of $1.8 million led a family of four to try their luck.
After a short negotiation, the vendors accepted the bid, and the house was sold for $1.85 Million.
Agent David Green, of Harcourts Green Living, said the lack of initial bids spoke to a market that was slowing down.
“What we’re finding is that buyers are really hesitating in the market at the moment. They’re really fearful of overpaying for something,” he said.
“There’s definitely been a slowdown in buyer activity. They’re sitting back and waiting to see what everyone else does.
“That’s why we didn’t want to muck around with them. We put a strong vendor’s bid to start with, to find out if anyone was serious.”
He said an acreage property such as this was rare and usually popular in the area, with auctions often seeing many neighbours in attendance.
“Very few acreage properties have come to the market, so I think some [of the neighbours] were interested in what it was going to achieve,” he said.
“Have a look it themselves to see how it compared to their homes. Those acreage properties in Gumdale, Belmont [and] Chandler are always extremely popular.”
The buyers, a young family of four, were thrilled to pick up a property of this size in the area.
“They’ve lived in the area for a long time, and always wanted to get onto an acreage property.
“All the neighbours are multimillion-dollar houses, so they felt like the opportunity was there to buy a beautiful home on a great acreage. They were rapt.
“We’re seeing lots of refurbishment of some of these bigger homes that were very stately in their day. This is exactly what will happen with this home,” Green said.
“It really is blue chip. It’s the last to go down in price, and the first to go up when the market returns.”
Nearby, a post-war home on 506 square metres in Camp Hill was sold under the hammer in a speedy auction.
Bidding started at $670,000, with the two registered bidders quickly bringing the price up to $735,000 in a minute or two.
At that point, bidding slowed down and negotiations began with the top bidder. Soon after, the final price was agreed upon.
A young couple walked away with the property for $760,000.
“It’s a perfect entry level home into the Camp Hill market,” agent Mel Christie, of Ray White Coorparoo, said.
“The people who have bought it are going to live there for 12months and then they’re going to renovate it, or knock it down.”
Christie said she had seen increased interest in the area from interstate buyers.
“Around 26 groups inspected the property during its campaign. Two of those groups were buying agents from Melbourne,” she said.
“I think they see Brisbane as a more stable market than the Melbourne and Sydney market at the moment.
“I just had another buyer from Sydney that inspected this property [buy] another one of mine this week before it went to auction.”
The house had been in the family since it was built in 1962. Having already moved to northern Queensland, the vendors were excited to see the property sold.
“I got a big hug and a thank you, so I think he was pretty happy,” Christie said.
Bargain buys: Prices slashed on 23,000 homes
BARGAIN-HUNGRY home hunters are in the box seat with a spike in the number of discounted properties hitting the market.
BARGAIN-HUNGRY home hunters are in the box seat with a spike in the number of discounted properties hitting the market.
The top 20 homes with the biggest price cuts on the market in Queensland right now have been revealed, giving savvy buyers a chance to snap up a bargain for up to $800,000 below market value.
Right now, a three-bedroom house on acreage in the Moreton Bay region has had its sale price slashed by half a million dollars and a beautiful five-bedder on a big block in Tarragindi is $150,000 cheaper than it was when it was first listed.
Death, divorce and desperate vendors are some of the reasons for the number of “distressed” listings, according to SQM Research, which puts out a report on its website that is updated weekly.
SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said 23,000 of the 330,000 properties on the market nationally were distressed, compared to only 18,000 a year ago.
Mr Christopher said the increase in distressed listings showed it was a good time to research the market and see what value was on offer.
“There is the potential to be able to buy at, or below, fair market value,” Mr Christopher said.
“Especially in a downturn similar to the one we’re having now, that probability has increased.”
Mr Christopher said sellers of discounted properties were also usually more willing to negotiate.
The Gold Coast usually has a higher number of distressed properties than any other region in the country.
MORE: Sold after one inspection
“I suspect it’s because the Gold Coast has a higher percentage of investors as a proportion of total buyers than most other regions in the country and it’s also a transient place, so people come in, live there for a few years and move out again,” Mr Christopher said.
Helen and Tim Stieler are selling their renovated, three-bedroom house in the heart of Chermside for offers over $565,000.
The well-presented home at 6 Monserrat St, Chermside, is on a larger than average 635 sqm block close to shops, a hospital and public transport.
The Stielers have already moved to a property on a bigger block of land to accommodate their growing family.
Mrs Stieler said she could not believe the property had not been snapped up yet.
“The convenience is amazing,” Mrs Stieler said.
“We’ve had a large number of people go through, but just haven’t found the right person.
“It really is a bit of a bargain.”
Marketing agent Jonathan Levey of Harcourts Connections – Stafford said it was the perfect buying opportunity for young families or a young couple.
Mr Levey said the sale price had recently been reduced by $10,000.
“It’s immaculate — no maintenance required,” Mr Levey said.
“It has a great street presence and is only a two minute walk from Chermside Markets.”
On the waterfront in Redcliffe, a luxury three-bedroom unit is on the market for $150,000 less than its original listed price.
Maureen and Steve Bennett are reluctantly selling the property in Mon Komo at 603/99 Marine Parade for offers over $1 million for financial reasons.
“We’re selling because we have other building projects on the go, and so instead of having money tied up in Mon Komo, we’re doing it just to free up some money — not because we want to,” Mrs Bennett said.
“We fell in love with it because we loved the design. We love everything about it, and still do. Nothing beats the position.”
Marketing agent Rosslyn Kennedy of Gateway Properties said the property was more spacious and better value than most newer units on the market.
“The trouble is people like shiny new, but this is so much better value for money,” Ms Kennedy said.
THE 20 MOST DISCOUNTED PROPERTIES ON THE MARKET IN QUEENSLAND
Address Suburb Current Price First Price Discount
1. 1-15/14 City Rd Beenleigh $4.6m $5.425m $825,000
2. 1 Yebri St Kallangur $789,000 $1.3m $511,000
3. 96 & 98 Tenby St Mt Gravatt $1.089m $1.485m $396,000
4. 354 Samsonvale Rd Joyner $895,000 $1.2m $305,000
5. 195-197 Andrew Rd Greenbank $1.9m $2.2m $300,000
6. 231 Marsden Rd Kallangur $750,000 $999,000 $249,000
7. 203 Gaskell St Eight Mile Plains $678,000 $900,000 $222,000
8. 2 Limmen St Pimpama $650,000 $850,000 $200,000
9. 35 Queen St Goodna $2.3m $2.499m $199,000
10. 4 Jaidan Plc Victoria Point $719,000 $899,000 $180,000 11. Lot 15 Briscoe Rd Dayboro $990,000 $1.155m $165,000
12. 603/99 Marine Pde Redcliffe $1m $1.15m $150,000
13. 28 Andrew Ave Tarragindi $950,000 $1.1m $150,000
14. 218 Beams Rd Zillmere $349,000 $499,000 $150,000
15. 5 Fradgley Ct Ormeau Hills $500,000 $649,900 $149,900
16. 607/18 Longland St Newstead $749,000 $888,000 $139,000
17. 23 Kennedy Esp Scarborough $1.595m $1.725m $130,000
18. 22 Dean Dr Ocean View $860,000 $985,000 $125,000
19. 4207/222 Margaret St Brisbane City $560,000 $685,000 $125,000
20. 162 Queens Rd Everton Park $1.08m $1.2m $120,000
(Source: SQM Research)
TIPS FOR BUYING A DISTRESSED PROPERTY
1. Look for key search terms like ‘mortgagee possession’, ‘deceased estate’, ‘bank forced sale’, ‘owners moving overseas’.
2. Find out why the listing is ‘distressed’. Why is the vendor so keen to sell?
3. Do your research into the property, always get a building and pest inspection done and do a title search to ensure the seller is actually the owner of the property.
(Source: SQM Research MD Louis Christopher)
Originally published as Big bargains for home buyers
Million-dollar winners and losers
There’s been a seismic shift in Brisbane’s million-dollar club with a few surprises among the whopping 27 suburbs joining the elite list in the latest figures. But, while many have risen, some long-time stalwarts have tumbled below the $1m mark.
There’s been a seismic shift in Brisbane’s million-dollar club with a few surprise suburbs joining the elite list in the latest figures — just as several seasoned ones drop out.
A whopping 27 suburbs in the Brisbane region were in the millionaire club when it came to median sales price in the latest CoreLogic Market Trends report for February, released this week.
Seven of those were not there in recorded figures for 2017 — a period when there were more million dollar suburbs nationally than there are at present (651 versus 649 now).
Brisbane’s surprise entrant was Camp Mountain in Moreton Bay where the median house price climbed 16.4 per cent in one year to hit $1.1m in latest data.
The suburbs that jumped the most to get into the millionaire club were South Brisbane which rose a massive 27.5 per cent to $1.07m, closely followed by neighbouring Dutton Park which was up 26.5 per cent to $1.028m.
In among suburbs that were not among the elites in 2017 were Upper Brookfield (now on a median house price of $1.4075m), Hendra (up 13.1 per cent to $1.1m), Balmoral ($1.0185m up 7.8 per cent) and Bardon ($1.0025m up 9.3 per cent).
Some big movers and shakers dropped off the millionaire list though, including blue chip suburb Chelmer whose median house price fell to $985,000 (down -1.5 per cent). Samford Valley was $70,000 below the million mark at $930,000 (down -7 per cent).
The biggest falls of the losers came out of Wilston whose median dropped (-22.1 per cent) to $880,000, andFortitude Valley which was down (-19.5 per cent) to $825,000.
CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher said although the millionaire suburb figure had jumped substantially in Australia “from 123 suburbs a decade earlier, it has actually fallen from 741 suburbs in January 2018. In fact, more suburbs had a median of at least $1 million in 2017 (651) than do currently”.
“This increase in million dollar suburbs has occurred despite ongoing weak overall housing conditions across the state,” he said.
Teneriffe $1.67m Down -31.6%
Ascot $1.6m Up 3.2%
Chandler $1.58m Up 7.6%
New Farm $1.52m Up 11.2%
Bulimba $1.335m Up 5.1%
Hamilton $1.305m Up 0.6%
St Lucia $1.2035m Up 2%
Tennyson $1.1875m Down -2.7%
Pullenvale $1.18m Up 8.8%
Hawthorne $1.15m Down -1.2%
Paddington $1.15m Up 11.1%
Burbank $1.15m Up 15%
Auchenflower $1.135m Up 0.9%
Clayfield $1.13m Up 0.4%
Brookfield $1.105m Up 8.3%
Robertson $1.075m Up 23%
Fig Tree Pocket $1.05m Down -13.2%
Carbrook $1.0485m Down -3.1%
Kalinga $1.016m Down -13.9%
West End $1.01m Up 0.7%
Upper Brookfield $1.4075m
Hendra $1.1m Up 13.1%
Camp Mountain $1.1m Up 16.4%
South Brisbane $1.07m Up 27.5%
Dutton Park $1.028m Up 26.5%
Balmoral $1.0185m Up 7.8%
Bardon $1.0025m Up 9.3%
Chelmer $985,000 Down -1.5%
Samford Valley $930,000 Down -7.0%
Wilston $880,000 Down -22.1%
Fortitude Valley $825,000 Down -19.5%
(Source: CoreLogic data)
Originally published as Million-dollar winners and losers
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