CASHED-up Chinese investors are making plenty of headlines in the property world, and new figures show Coffs Harbour may be on their radar.
Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane have been feeling the effects of the China boom for months now, with investors snapping up as many as two in every three apartments in new unit developments.
But Juwai.com, the leading Chinese international property portal found that Chinese investor interest in Coffs Harbour was up 133% in August, compared with January this year.
The statistic is measured using website activity including page views, searches, search results and enquiries.
Juwai.com CEO Andrew Taylor said the website showcases what Australia, including places like Coffs Harbour, has to offer to the Chinese investors.
"On Chinese social media, some commentators have taken to calling Juwai.com 'the website you're going to regret looking at' because it makes Chinese realise that - for the price of a home in China - they could buy one with a pool and full luxurious amenities in Australia," Mr Taylor said.
National Australia Bank research reveals that foreign buyers snapped up one in every eight new properties built this year, up from one in 20 properties in 2011.
While the Chinese may have been showing online interest in Coffs Harbour, local agent say they are yet to see any strong interest in the market directly, with most agreeing the main point of interest is in the capital cities.
While large commercial buildings and unit developments in capital cities have been capturing the interest of the Chinese investor, house and land developers are attempting to lure this lucrative investor market to regional areas.
Director of Integrity New Homes, Glenn Leet attended a property expo with Juwau.com in China last month; a trip he said was definitely worthwhile.
"I had a Chinese investor walk up to me and say 'Glenn I want you to find me a $50 million investment in Australian property," Mr Leet said.
"Our goal is to increase the number of inquiries we field from Chinese buyers up to as much as 25% of the total within 6 months," he said.
"We also expect to be able to work with Chinese investors to bring new land to the market."
The Juwai experience is that Chinese buyers prefer new properties.
"The change to design a house around their lifestyle can be attractive," Mr Taylor said.
"Some want to have a wok kitchen, which you can't find in most Aussie houses. A wok kitchen is a small room with a sink, stove and powerful exhaust fan just behind a door off the larger, western-style kitchen."
Mr Taylor said an influx of Chinese investment in areas like Coffs Harbour could bring huge benefits. "With more Chinese buying house and land packages, the country will benefit by having more houses available in the marketplace, plus the construction jobs and retail sales that accompany building and outfitting a new home."
CHINESE PROPERTY FACTS
- 63.1 million Chinese have the wealth to invest in overseas property.
- 90 million Chinese search for property online every month.
- Less than 1% of mainland Chinese can read English.
- China's property boom has gone international, with strong demand for property in Australia, UK, USA, Canada, Singapore, France, Germany, Cyprus, Malaysia, Thailand, and many more.
- 61% pay in cash.
- More than 60% of China's wealthy are engaged in overseas investment or immigration.
- 85% of China's wealthy want to educate their children overseas.
- Sites not hosted in China are either blocked or experience excessively slow load times.
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