Digital Fuels Asian Appetite for Australian Property


Digital Fuels Asian Appetite for Australian Property

Asian buyers represent a very significant component of purchaser demand in Australia, particularly in the capital cities. “At Hunt & Hunt, we have acted for local vendors and purchasers in the sale and purchase of several large CBD and near CBD holdings in recent months”, says Tony Raunic.

“Most of the purchasers have been Asia-based investors including two recent large sales in the $30 to $60 million range where we represented clients selling entire CBD buildings.”

Hunt & Hunt is seeing this Asian appetite first hand, not only through handling property transactions involving Asian investors around our Australian offices, but also through activities in our Shanghai office. The race to entice Asian investment into the Australian property sector is heating up. The right strategies and digital tools are vital to engaging with the market and its emerging needs.

As competition intensifies for the lucrative offshore property investor, Australian developers are becoming more agile and proactive in their efforts to market to their offshore networks effectively. Credit Suisse forecast that Chinese nationals will invest more than $44 billion in Australian residential real estate over the next seven years. However, engaging with the Asian investor involves increasing sophistication and strategy.

“The rising interest in the Australian property sector means that developers need to be more strategic in how they deal with potential Asian buyers and their specific needs. In many cases the traditional methods of marketing and engagement are not as potent,” advises Investorist founder Jon Ellis.

China, Malaysia and Singapore are experiencing a trebling of growth in the number of property agents marketing Australian developments to local buyers. According to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), Chinese investors spent $5.9 billion last year buying primarily residential property in Australia.

Ellis warns that listing properties via traditional means, such as using local online property websites like SouFun, is going to yield limited benefits.

“Asian buyers need a high degree of support and advice on their potential offshore investments; additionally, they need someone who will act as a conduit through the legal and cultural issues that arise,” says Ellis.

High digital adoption within these key Asian markets means online engagement is now vital to targeting the right market segment and buyer. Ellis says the B2B Investorist site has more than one-third of traffic coming from Malaysia, Singapore and China.  Tony Raunic agrees, noting that Asia-based prospective purchasers are increasingly requiring a high level of information and intelligence on Australian property before they are prepared to board a plane to commence face to face negotiations on purchase terms.

As the Investorist site is squarely aimed at property agents, wealth creation experts and migration agents, it serves as a hub for a raft of relevant information, which is also available in Mandarin to aid transactions. The online presence includes regular seminars and is supplanted with local operatives in core Asian markets.

“Digital has changed the ball game for global property sales. It has quashed many cross-border issues simply by having real-time availability of material backed by technology that allows rich imagery and video, and messaging services that enable quick connectivity,” Ellis says.

This article was co-written with Jon Ellis, Founder, Investorist.