Alien invasion is an illusion

Artists impression of the proposed Soda development

The spate of new apartments offers international investors an opportunity to enter the market

Foreign investment is not taking over West End according to Rob Honeycombe, a director of the Real Estate Institute and BeesNees Real Estate.

Honeycombe is responding to recent reports that up to half of new housing stock was being snaffled up by foreign owners. He says that the fundamental reason this isolated statistic is not generally relevant is that foreigners cannot buy established or second-hand properties. Even with the spate of new apartments on the market, the statistics show that foreign investors currently hold less than one quarter of one percent of all residential housing stock in Australia.

In total at the end of 2013, the number of properties owned by foreign residents across Australia was around 72,000, with a little over 10% of them in Queensland. This has been steady for about three years. China, Canada and the USA each account for about ten percent of those foreign owners.

So, some new apartments coming onto the market will be sold to foreign and domestic investors and then rented to local renters. That will have little impact on the price of other types of housing but will keep some buoyancy in the apartment market which has flattened in cities like Sydney due to oversupply.

Honeycombe summarises the situation thus, “Many of these cultures have an ingrained love of bricks and mortar. Naturally as real estate agents we love them for that!”

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