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China Still in Hunt for Prestige Property
Brief:The real estate market is predicted to slow this year but appetite among foreign investors will remain strong despite new fees for overseas buyers.
 
Real Estate agent Monika Tu who has sold the most properties to Chinese investors. 
 
Monika Tu, a realtor who specialises in the sale of Australian prestige property overseas, particularly wealthy Chinese, says despite a slowdown Australia was always the leading destination for Chinese investors.
 
“First it was for education but now the clean environment has become top priority,” said Ms Tu.
 
She will head to Shanghai, Beijing and several other Chinese cities next week to sell the idea of Australia to some of the country’s most successful businesspeople and celebrities.
 
Ms Tu, who sold more than $200 million in property in the past nine months, said Point Piper, Vaucluse and Rose Bay, along with Mosman and Hunters Hill, remained the top destinations, but increasingly cost-conscious buyers were turning to Blakehurst and Burraneer in Sydney’s south.
 
Most forecasters expect significantly lower home price growth this year, after three years of rapid growth across Sydney and Melbourne.
 
Home prices rose 8.9 per cent across Australia’s capital cities for the year ending in mid-December, jumping 12.8 per cent and 11.7 per cent in Sydney and Melbourne respectively.
 
Tim Lawless, head of the research team in a property information provider, said auction clearance rates appeared to “have found a new floor” last month, with auction sales in Sydney at just 50 per cent.
 
“With conditions softening during the normally active spring season and over the first month of summer, the outlook for the housing market in 2016 is looking less positive than the strong growth conditions seen through the first three quarters of 2015,” he said.
 
The latest property survey compiled by National Australia Bank economists showed softening market sentiment as expectations for future price growth and rent increases were scaled back.
 
Despite this, and additional measures introduced to tighten existing foreign investment regulations, overseas buyers continued to increase their exposure to Australian real estate.
 
The NAB survey estimated 19 per cent of all new apartment sales and 14.9 per cent of all new house sales in the three months to the end of October were to foreign buyers.
 
 

The Australian
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