A growing number of Chinese people are taking advantage of a relaxation in Australia’s foreign investment laws to buy property in Melbourne.
Real estate agents in the eastern suburbs report that up to half the buyers this year have been part-time residents from China or Asian companies buying accommodations for their staff.
Auctioneer Robert Ding (seen here), of Jellis Craig in Balwyn, near Melbourne, started holding auctions in both Mandarin and English in March.
Agents from Marshall White in Armadale and Hawthorn, are flying to Shanghai this month with plans to establish an office there to draw more Chinese buyers.
A change in foreign investment laws last December means that temporary residents (foreigners who hold a temporary Australian visa for 12 months or more) and those who have applied for permanent residency and hold a bridging visa can now buy established houses as well as new property.
The Age reported Michael Gornalle of Karen Gornalle and Associates saying the trend reflected the growing ties between China and Australia.
He said, "Of the properties in our area, Chinese can literally be the only 10 people who look at the property. Generally, when they come out here, they have someone who can negotiate on their behalf, and they are very astute people and obviously coming from a very successful background."