Priced-Out Chinese Turn to WA Property Market

Yanchen Cao and Ting Xue bought off the plan in West Perth.

Yanchen Cao and Ting Xue bought off the plan in West Perth.

Chinese inquiries for WA real estate grew nearly 10 per cent last year and are expected to jump significantly this year as many buyers are priced out of Sydney and Melbourne.

New statistics from Juwai, China’s biggest international real estate website, revealed Perth city, Broome, Nedlands and Canning Vale were the top four places of interest for Chinese buyers.

Interest grew 8 per cent in 2016, after a 92 per cent jump in inquiries in 2015.Gavin Norris, head of in Australia, said there was a growing urgency to buy abroad amid fears the Chinese yuan could be devalued as much as 30 per cent within years.

He said Australia was the site’s second most popular country and Sydney and Melbourne were the most sought after cities.

But many Chinese buyers could not afford median prices which had climbed to $1 million in Sydney and $700,000 in Melbourne.

In Perth, average house prices purchased through were $447,000 in the metropolitan area and $500,000 in Broome.

An increase in Perth prices is expected to kickstart significant demand from China.

“Chinese investors are aware of the weaknesses of Perth’s real estate market,” Mr Norris said.

“They often like to buy into a story of growth and appreciation.“But when they understand the positive medium-term prospects they can be persuaded.”

Ronald Chan, chief operating officer of Finbar, which developed most apartment blocks in East Perth, said there had been increasing interest from Chinese buyers recently.

“Perth used to be a hard sell,” he said. “We would go to China to show apartments in Perth and their first question was how far it was from Sydney.”

Local real estate agent Brent Crompton expects Chinese demand in WA will jump this year because prices are more affordable than in recent years.

“One of the great benefits Perth has is the fact that we have some wonderful schools.” he said.

“Couple that with fantastic weather and no pollution, it’s a veritable paradise for our Asian friends from the north.”

Realestate 88 agent Cherry Li said her clients Ting Xue and Yanchen Cao recently bought a West Perth Finbar apartment off the plan after realising they could not afford a decent place in Sydney.

She said 95 per cent of her Chinese clients came to Perth for the same reason, but were not disappointed.

Perth’s affordability, the weather, natural beauty and being in same time zone as China were all big selling factors.

“People don’t realise it is so pretty here compared to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane,” she said.

Foreign Investment Review Board rules allow non-residents to buy new properties or off the plan.

Article by: Kim Macdonald

Photo by: Marie Nirme


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