Mr Chau, 32, said he was leaving partly because of the political situation but also because Hong Kong’s high cost of living and weak economy was taking a toll.
“I think for the education, for the environment, for children growing up, Australia is a good place compared to Hong Kong,” Mr Chau said.
Territory’s economy stalling
Last week, Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam said she expected the city’s economy to slip into a technical recession in the third quarter because of the months of protests.
The anti-extradition law protests have morphed into wider calls for more political freedom from China, but also fuelling the fire is the growing gap between rich and poor and the most unaffordable home prices in the world.
Hong Kong-based, Australian-registered migration agent John Hu told the ABC he had seen a big rise in inquiries and sales since the protests began in June, with many people looking to get business or investor visas for Australia.
“We have enjoyed a significant increase in monthly sales; our sales have gone up four times,” he said.
“For enquiries, we are reaching about 1,000 a month and they are asking for different countries and of course Australia is on the top of the list.”
Mr Hu said his firm was processing hundreds of skilled migration visasand business migration visas for Australia.
Spike in interest in Australian property
Australia was the top destination for Hong Kong people emigrating last year, with about one third of emigrants — about 2,400 people — coming here.
Managing director of Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty, Michael Pallier, said his company had seen a 500 per cent increase in enquiries from Hong Kong compared to last year.
He said the new buyers were Hong Kong people who also had Australian citizenship, permanent residency or who were millionaire investors.
“The last two months we’ve seen a large spike in interest from people who are from Hong Kong,” he said.
“Before it was all mainland Chinese who were coming out. Now there are just as many enquiring from Hong Kong, and obviously with the instability a lot of people that are living in Hong Kong are thinking maybe long term it’s better to move to Australia.”
He sells high-end properties ranging from $3 million to $30 million with a lot of clients in the finance industry who want to move to wealthy areas in Sydney with elite private schools.
“It’s not only Hong Kong Chinese, there are just as many expats that are contacting us,” Mr Pallier said.
“One has already bought a house from us for just over $10 million, moving back to Australia.”
REA Group said searches on its property website from Hong Kong for Australian property had increased by one third from the same time last year with Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide the most popular cities.
Focus on top end of the market
Crown Group sales director Prisca Edwards said enquiries from Hong Kong were up 300 per cent and sales had increased by up to 30 per cent for the firm’s luxury apartments.
Ms Edwards said a wide range of Hongkongers were looking for local homes.
“Basically any mums or dads,” she said. “What we’ve seen is someone who has a link, maybe their children already studied here and went back to Hong Kong to work and came back just to see and look for property.”
“There are some young professionals who already have permanent residency, went back to Hong Kong and lived there … and now would like to buy in Sydney.”
*Georg Chmiel, chairman of Juwai, the biggest property website in the world for Chinese buyers, has seen the same trend, with interest in both high-end properties and the mass market.
“We have seen quite a notable increase in enquiries for Australian properties — up by 50 per cent since the protests have started,” he said.
Mr Chmiel said the ongoing political unrest was hurting confidence in Hong Kong.
“What has happened is the confidence has been shaken in the market and if the protests continue that will in the longer term impact the confidence in the Hong Kong property market,” he said.
However he said the increased interest from the Chinese territory was unlikely to have much impact on Australian home prices because Hong Kong buyers only made up about 1.5 per cent of total enquiries and purchases.
With Australia’s strict immigration laws and restrictions on foreign investment in property, Hong Kong people are also looking closer to home.
Does this article challenge the concept of paying rent to foreign owners of Australian domestic housing?
Does this article challenge the concept that it is fine to have a shrinking proportion of Australians owning their own home while the percentage of foreign owners grows?
Does this article shine a light on ‘money laundering in real estate, on PROXY buyers and VISA manipulation associated with the buying of domestic real estate’?
DON’T THINK SO!
The article did attract some comments about renting in later years but what about these circumstances …
-workers, say 2 adults on average wages are renting .their rent is so high they are paying 40% of their income to a landlord .ability to save is very limited .rent increases regularly .repairs are not always made, complain and there’s a good chance lease renewal will be refused
What happens next when …
-one or both lose employment -moving out is fraught with difficulties as real estate agents .claw back ‘repairs’ from bonds .insisting on professional cleaners – moving out costs can be crippling
Then with less income the renter can’t rent a suitable dwelling in a desired area.
Oh yes I forgot, ‘go and get a better paying job’ and ‘move to the country’
It’s MYTH PEDDLING … what these sort of stories do is they endorse the concept of being a consumer at every level, not only day to day for food and clothing but for shelter too
AS RENTERS …
-What about your credit rating? -What about how much you pay for insurances? -What about how much you pay for utilities in rented places where there are no energy savings to be enjoyed?
-How often are we asked in a conversation about financial circumstances, ‘and you own your own home?’
-As for renting in later years the picture gets worse, there have been some studies done recently showing older single women
-are particularly worse off not owning a home -find rental affordability difficult –reluctant response from agents and owners to even rent a property to them
-are often forced to share with others
-are forced to rent sub standard dwellings
-also have less super available
It always amazes me being told by a wealthy person that we ought think like he has, especially when he has little to fear from sudden termination of his lease as he has the capacity to easily relocate with a minimum of angst
See what it is really like in Struggle Street … see how you are treated as a renter when you’re not wearing a flash suit and don’t have business cards and clients from the Big End of Town then you‘ll know what it’s like.
VIEW CAAN WEBSITE TO FIND ARTICLES ABOUT RENTING AND MORE ..
THEN we hope you will make your objections known to your local MPs … click on the links below to find their contact details including email and phone!
But what … goes unchallenged is that it is apparently ‘the truth’
-what about the foreign buyers influence on demand? -what about the use of real estate in visa applications?
The list goes on
-what about challenging this growth concept? -what about sustainability? -what about issues like water security? -what about energy use?
Also noticed was the ‘subtle diminishing of traditional housing‘ as ‘timber and tin’ but they fail to point out the alternatives like masonry, concrete and tiles are indeed heat sinks that subsequently amount to energy traps
And what about …
-character -heritage –alternative building styles i.e. as seen in some cities elsewhere –passive transport (cycle ways) and light rail
And what about …
–challenging this ‘high population dogma’?
Urban squeeze pushes great Australian dream to the fringes
The city still has the lowest density of any Australian capital but lately it has been going up, as well as out.Follow this story to get email or text alerts from ABC News when there is a future article following this storyline.Follow this story
A landmark report released by the CSIRO earlier this year — “Australia 2060” — signalled the country might face a “slow decline” if it failed to take action on a number of economic, social and environmental factors.
The report said an urban shift towards density, creating a wider mix of housing options and improving transport infrastructure, were among the changes needed.
One of the report’s authors, Dr Tim Baynes said the challenge facing Brisbane was how to maintain the “character and liveability” of the city “while also accommodating in South East Queensland something like 30,000 new dwellings a year”.
Over the past 70 years, South East Queensland’s urban footprint has expanded exponentially, with 20,000 hectares being added in the last decade alone.
To curb the sprawl, the 2017 regional plan recommended that 60 per cent of all new homes be built within the existing boundaries.
In-fill developments in lower-density areas are also a sore point and have galvanised community action groups across Brisbane.
Mike Fowler has lived at McDowall on Brisbane’s northside for the past 16 years, but his bushland view is about to be replaced by 44 townhouses.
“Most of the places in McDowall used to be nice suburban blocks with houses on acreage, but the land is being sold … and it really is starting to have an impact on quality of life here,” Mr Fowler said
He said traffic congestion was a particular problem.
“A lot of the streets aren’t very wide … and navigating your way from here out onto a main road can be problematic if there’s cars parked on the side of the road,” he said.
The Brisbane City Council’s (BCC) response has been to come up with a plan to “protect the city’s backyard” and “put a stop to cookie-cutter townhouses”.
The council is seeking State Government approval to amend the Brisbane City Plan to ban medium-density development on blocks smaller than 3,000 square metres in low-density suburbs.
QUT property and planning associate lecturer Mark Limb described the move as “ham-fisted in its blanket approach” and said it “discourages a form of housing that provides low-impact density and offers good alternatives to living on the urban fringe”.
He said communities could be better supported through the change with better targeted infrastructure spending on parks, community facilities, bikeways and transport.
He suggested the $130 million a year the BCC received from developers in infrastructure charges contributions needed to be “strictly apportioned” and a component spent directly on the locality concerned, rather than into a general pool.
MERITON has grown from single tower developments to whole Precincts!
KEY POINTS … About the Little Bay Masterplan
-it was approved in 2009allowing for 450 dwellings to be built in buildings up to five-storeys (18m)
–Meriton seeks consent to build 1900 dwellings in multiple mid and high-rise with maximum height of 22 storeys (73m)
-Meriton can apply directly with the NSW Government through the Sydney Eastern City Planning Panel
QUESTION why should the Little Bay Community lose this relatively undeveloped patch of land in Sydneyfor a huge development largely marketed to overseas buyers?
What small percentage will be allocated for local key workers? 5, 10 per cent?
-it would appear the provision for a supermarket, cafes, childcare and medical centre are for this precinct
SOME QUOTES FROM HARRY TRIGUBOFF …
–“China has more than 1 billion people, and they love Australia. I think they love Australia as much as we love Australia. So there will always be enough of them that will buy.”
-“The problem with Australians is they are very slow. They ask their lawyer, they ask their financial adviser, they ask their family, they ask everybody. The Chinese don’t ask anybody, they come off the plane, buy their unit and go.”
Little Bay could soon be home to nearly 2000 more units in blocks of up to 22-storeys as part of a plan revealed by development giant Meriton.
Residents and the local MP are already rallying and have labelled the proposal “over the top”.
Harry Triguboff’s Meriton bought a 12ha section of land at Little Bay in 2017 for $245 million which included an approved masterplan.
*That masterplan — which was originally refused by Randwick Council but was approved in 2009 following an appeal with the Land and Environment Court — allowed for 450 dwellings to be built in buildings up to five-storeys (18m).
*The new planning proposal to Randwick Council is seeking consent to build 1900 dwellings on the site in multiple mid and high-rise buildings, with a maximum building height of 22 storeys (or 73m).
A petition of more than 1200 signatures has been collected and Maroubra state Labor MP Michael Daley has slammed the proposal, describing it as completely over the top.
*“Residents shouldn’t have to organise and fight a proposal like this because it is so obviously over the top,” he said.
*“Meriton bought this site long after council masterplanned the area and knew what they were getting into. Now just because they don’t like the rules they’re trying to change them.”
*He said it was unfair that current rules allowed developers to apply directly with the state government even if council reject the proposal, through the Sydney Eastern City Planning Panel.
However, a Meriton spokesman said the proposal had many benefits for the community.
*“The proposal will also include many benefits such as the dedication of housing for local key workers including nurses, teachers and police, increased public transport, additional open space and a new local centre with provisions for a supermarket, cafes, childcare centres and medical centre that is not possible under the current approval for the site.”
*The proposal also stated there would be potential for a hotel to be built on the site.
CAAN: PLEASE CLICK THE LINK BELOW AND SIGN THE PETITION!
Little Bay resident Olde Lorenzen, who started an online petitionto stop the development, said it would destroy the area if the proposal went ahead.
“It would turn Little Bay into a giant construction zone of Mascot proportions for years to come.
“The infrastructure would not be able to cope with the result and make commuting into the city even more onerous than it already is.
“Even if the light rail or the metro was ever to be extended, it won’t happen for another 10 to 20 years.”
His petition already has more than 1200 signatures since being put online on Monday.
Mr Lorenzen said the Save Little Bay group, which was made up of local residents, would work hard to see the current masterplan protected.
“(Meriton) bought the site in 2017 in full knowledge of what the development potential was.
“Save Little Bay will demand to have the masterplan protected and enforced in its current form.”
A Randwick Council spokeswoman said the proposal was being reviewed.
“Council is currently undertaking an initial assessment of the proposal to determine if it has strategic merit,” she said.
“The proposal will be referred to the Randwick Local Planning Panel for advice in November prior to being reported to the Council in December 2019.”
She said the Minister for Planning or Department of Planning, Environment and Industry will ultimately decide whether to issue a gateway determination and allow it to go to public consultation.
Harry Triguboff has learned how to make money in up and down markets. DEAN HAMMER
To see how Asia’s growing wealth is reshaping the global economy and creating enormous fortunes, consider the rise of Australia’s second-richest man, Harry Triguboff.
The 86-year-old has amassed his fortune by building approximately 10% of the country’s apartments—almost 80,000 dwellings.
His privately held Meriton is Australia’s most prolific homebuilder, earning A$485 million ($332 million) in its latest fiscal year on sales of A$1.8 billion, according to Australian Securities and Investments Commission filings. Triguboff’s ownership of Meriton, where he is managing director, gives him a fortune pegged at $10.7 billion.
*Rising housing prices in key Australian cities—up more than 50% from 2012 to 2017—were driven in part by * strong demand from international investors, many of them from Asia. *
CAAN: 2012 happens to coincide with the Liberal O’Farrell Government ‘A Plan for Growing Sydney’ with higher density! It all tied in with the FIRB ruling allowing deve-lopers to sell 100% of ‘new homes’ to foreign buyers …
Meriton was an early leader in marketing Australian property to these buyers, with nearly 20% of its sales coming from nonresident Asian buyers.“They like to buy the best they can afford, where they can afford,” says Triguboff of his customers from mainland China. “So that means new. They will pay more for brand new, always. They like brand new buildings.”
Restrictions by Beijing and Canberra were meant to crimp demand. In 2015, on concerns that international demand was making home prices unaffordable for its citizens, the Australian government limited nonresident investors to purchasing newly built properties, vacant land or residences still on the drawing board, or “off-plan.”
CAAN: Those ‘restrictions’ were readily bypassed through a Temporary Visa whereby holders were able to buy an established home while residing in NSW to then demolish the property and build ‘a new home’ with the benefit of gaining a ‘Permanent Resident Visa’!
International buyers face other restrictions: approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board for their purchase; up to 40% deposit on purchase prices before banks will give a mortgage; and various fees, taxes and stamp duties.Today In: Asia
CAAN: Sydney and Melbourne … much of Australian residential property has been highly sought after by the Ultra High Net Worth and High Net Worth from China and Hong Kong … the fees, taxes and stamp duties mean little to these people …
Despite the barriers, Australian property remains attractive to international buyers, particularly from China, who want to safely park funds offshore in an appreciating asset.
Wealthy Chinese can also take advantage of Australia’s investor visa schemes, a pathway to permanent residency for those willing to bankroll Australian-based enterprises.
The Significant Investor Visa, requiring an investment of A$5 million (not including real estate), has been granted 2,022 times since the scheme’s inception in 2012, with 87% of recipients being mainland Chinese, according to Australia’s Department of Home Affairs.
In 2017, international buyers—77% of them from China—bought a quarter of the new housing stock in New South Wales, the state in which Sydney is located and where Meriton is most active, according to Credit Suisse.
CAAN: The author appears to have omitted referencing the large number of Visas that allow residential property purchase including a number of Investor Visas, Student, PhD Student, Family, Parent, Grandparent, Guardian (where a child as young as 6 and their Guardian can buy several new homes each or one established home each).
Purchases from Chinese investors have declined more recently as Australian regulators increased taxes and stamp duty on foreign buyers, more than doubling surcharges in some instances. Simultaneously, the Chinese government introduced stricter capital controls to reduce renminbi outflows.
CAAN: Purchases from Chinese Investors declined during 2018 due to China’s Capital Controls … however recently in 2019 China eased these capital controls!
But Triguboff says that no matter how difficult Beijing or Canberra make it, Chinese buyers will remain attracted to Australian property. “The Chinese always know how to find the way to overcome anything,” he says. “So even though our banks may not give them much money, and maybe their government doesn’t let them take much money [out of China], they usually find a way to invest.”
CAAN: The Morrison Government exempted the Real Estate Gatekeepers from the Anti-Money Laundering Rules (Second Tranche) in October 2018 which allows the onshore PROXY to launder black money on behalf of the foreign buyer … in Australian Real Estate …
Triguboff does well even in rare downturns in Australian property, such as now, due to a leasing strategy that provides profits when demand is weak.
During a similar downturn in the 1970s, Triguboff offset lower sales for Meriton’s new apartments by keeping some of its dwellings and renting them out rather than selling them.
To this day, Meriton retains ownership of slightly more than a tenth of the dwellings it builds, a roughly A$3 billion portfolio of properties that makes Meriton Australia’s biggest landlord.
So when property prices rise, so does Triguboff’s net worth; when the market is volatile, his rental income is the backstop. “Leasing is a huge area for us and one where we are growing,” he says.
Meriton’s yield income is helped by its strategy to build projects in suburbs close to the central business district that command premium rents, according to Michelle Ciesielski, head of residential research at Knight Frank Australia. “This increased rental supply has certainly aided locals wanting to live close to where they work and play,” she says. While other developers have the same strategy, Meriton retains a higher portion of its own units than others for rent, she says.
Triguboff is confident the market will revive soon and prices with it, as bargains lure buyers and banks relax recent restrictions. He’s so confident that Meriton has recommenced construction of several developments that were put on hold amid the uncertainty before Australia’s May elections. Early indications are he may be right: the victorious Liberal Party moved quickly to implement property-boosting measures. And interest-rate cuts by Australia’s central bank earlier this year have already translated into lower mortgage rates.
CAAN: IT is already underway …
HT’S CARTER STREET PRECINCT: SYDNEY OLYMPIC PARK AND THE EMERGENCE OF CHINESE LIVING CENTRES
Meriton was born in 1963 when Triguboff built his first block of apartments—a modest eight units in a working-class Sydney suburb. Though privately held by Triguboff, Meriton’s value is estimated to range from A$10 billion ($7 billion) to A$15 billion—the price Triguboff quoted when mulling a sale of the company in 2015.
Local media dubbed him “High-rise Harry” in the go-go 1980s and 1990s, when he built hundreds of units in high-density developments, most in his hometown Sydney or in Queensland’s Gold Coast. Although the company worked with respected architects such as Harry Seidler, Meriton’s hive-like housing has been criticized as architecturally subpar—former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating once described such developments as a “disfiguring eczema” afflicting Sydney.
Triguboff has a reputation for being loyal but short-tempered, the latter for which he makes no apology. “You must know how to deal with people,” says Triguboff. “I yell and scream and curse at people, and yet I’m their best friend,” he says. “But my people are very happy with me, and many of them, they’ve worked with me a few generations now. Some, three generations.”
This is one key lesson Triguboff says he is teaching the next generation of the family to assume leadership—grandsons Daniel and Ariel Hendler are heirs apparent. Triguboff’s advice? “Always keep your subcontractors employed and they will be loyal to you,” says Ariel, 26. Daniel, 29, adds another lesson: “Nothing is more valuable than time and to enjoy what you do.” Triguboff says the most important wisdom he has imparted to his grandsons is that “the more money you make, the harder you work, if you want the business to survive and grow.” He adds: “These are hard things to know. They teach you facts in school, but they don’t teach you this.”
Triguboff is a strong advocate of education and much of his philanthropy is focused on schools. In January, he opened the Triguboff Holistic Center for Vocational Training and Entrepreneurship in southern Israel. The center offers job training to the area’s Bedouin residents, particularly women.
Triguboff has also given millions to his alma mater, The Scots College, and supports Sydney’s leading Jewish private school, Moriah College, where he built the Moshe Triguboff Auditorium, named after his father. When Sydney’s Yeshiva schools were in financial difficulty, Triguboff stepped in to buy their properties and lease them back to the schools at a discount.
“I believe that we need good schools,” Triguboff says. “So of course I gravitate to where I went to school, Scots, because I know the kids there, I know the school and I want it to continue progressing.” Yet a greater share of his support has gone to Jewish schools, Triguboff says, because he thinks Jewish Australians should retain their heritage.
CAAN: AS Australia is losing its HERITAGE to overdevelopment … making way for ever more Real Estate Tourists come Permanent Resident Visa Holders …
NOTE: HT’s philanthropy is largely focused on preserving Jewish Heritage in Australia!
Charity begins at home, though. “Of course, I must make sure that I leave money to my offspring,” he says. “You never know what will happen in the end with them. They might fight each other. They might lose everything. So at least, I have to leave them something.”
A telling anecdote about Triguboff: Among the images of the rich and powerful that occupy the walls of his central Sydney office is a framed clipping of the Forbes 2019 Billionaires list, placing Triguboff’s as No. 2 in Australia and No. 156 in the world. Does he put much importance on these rankings? “No, not at all,” quips Harry.
There might be something to Millennial whinging after all (Photo by Julian Finney, Getty Images)
Millenials, more than any other generation, want to get into the property market but increasingly they’re unable, according to the latest CoreLogic survey, as national house prices have rocketed up.
In fact, the proportion of millennials that say they won’t be able to buy a home until they’re into their 30s has almost doubled in just two years, from 20% in 2017 to 34% today.
That’s put Australia in a position where “we risk entrenching a generation who become disenfranchised from society,” CoreLogic CEO Lis Claes warned, urging policymakers to implement serious reforms to arrest the trend.
Despite still desperately wanting to own a house, millennials have all but given up on the prospect until they’re in their 30s.
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That’s the takeaway from the most recent survey by property researcher CoreLogic which found that the proportion of millennials priced out in their 20s had risen from 20% to 34% in the last two years – that’s despite orderly declines in the most expensive markets Sydney and Melbourne.
“Of all the generations, millennials were the most likely to rate homeownership as important– 86% rated homeownership as important.
That’s despite millennials confronting the biggest challenges of affordability,” CEO Lisa Claes said at an event in Sydney unveiling the report.
“If millennials’ affordability disillusionment continues, we risk entrenching a generation who become disenfranchised from society. It raises serious issues around intergenerational equity and should be a catalyst for policymakers to address affordability at a foundational level,” Claes said.
Nationwide, less than four in ten millennials reckon they’ll be able to afford to buy before their 30s. While that number is lower in capital cities like Sydney and Melbourne, affordability has taken the most serious battering in smaller markets in the last 12 months.Tasmania was the only state where affordability has gotten worse over the last year, while the ACT also worsened.
But while being priced out, millennials significantly haven’t lost their desire to do so.
“Millennials haven’t given up on the great Australian dream – they want to own homes. In fact, by being denied it, they want it even more but they are losing hope that they will ever be able to realise that dream,” head of research Tim Lawless said.
With the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) having already cut interest rates twice, and adjustments made to free up the flow of credit into the market, those prices are again rising.
Millennials may be unable to control those forces but they are exploring alternatives to find their way into the market.
Of those surveyed, 11% of non-homeowners indicating they would definitely use ‘rent-vesting’ -– a practice where they buy an investment property they can affordfirst while they themselves continue renting – to get into the market. Another quarter stated they would consider it.
Notably, despite enthusiasm for rent-vesting, only 4% said they actually owned a property.
*Assessing the situation, CoreLogic urged the government to actually address the affordability problem.
“We need to see much more strategy to address housing affordability and not just band-aid solutions. That means not grants or concessions, but real long-term fixes for affordability. I think that’s the key message to come out of our research,” Lawless said.
HOPEFULLY LVO is correct … however there are millions of People of High Net Worth across the World aside from the Chinese … why is the Morrison Government acting contrary to the interests and well-being of a whole Cohort of Australians seeking to buy ‘a home’ when foreigners can fly in and buy our domestic housing?
AS suggested by a Commentator … why would they stop at domestic housing?
‘Come on people, let’s get real and understand that Chinese tourists are actually coming here on WEALTH AND PROSPERITY trips. They are coming here on organised money tours and are shown all the best and most profitable commodities we have to offer, by …you guessed it…Chinese spruikers.’
The Unconventional Economist disputes this claim from Juwai … that 27% of Mainland Chinese tourists surveyed plan to look at properties over the next year; that Australia was their Number 1 destination
AND this is why!
Because the Chinese capital account is tightening not loosening, recently via Nikkei:
As China allows the yuan to depreciate to a level not seen in 11 years, financial authorities have rolled out measures to stem capital outflows from the mainland.
The new rules include stricter oversight of banks in times of capital flight and restrictions on real estate developers’ access to foreign currency bonds. If the financial system is judged to be on the brink on instability, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, or SAFE, will declare the situation “abnormal.”
Under that assessment level, banks will be evaluated on the amount of yuan wired offshore and the volume of foreign currency sold. If the levels stray too far from the national average, the bank’s grade will diminish. Such lenders will then face limits on banking activities.
China is tolerating the softer yuan to ease the impact on domestic exporters during the prolonged U.S. trade war. But the government looks to avoid a repeat of 2015, when currency traders dumped the yuan after authorities lowered the reference rate.
…SAFE has also ordered lenders to request extra documentation before signing off on offshore remittances. If a parent wishes to pay school expenses for a student studying abroad, an acceptance letter must be presented. To transfer money for other reasons, documents such as a work permit must be furnished.
…”Wiring money overseas is not allowed for the purposes of purchasing real estate or insurance products,” said a representative at a second-tier Chinese bank.
AND capital controls since 2016 have demolished the inflow of money laundering capital into realty … and that far from a new deluge of property buyers … we can expect Chinese tourists themselves to stop coming in due course!
Chinese buyers have Australian property set firmly in their sights again, with a new survey revealing nearly a third of Chinese tourists plan to shop for property while they’re on holiday.
Property portal Juwai’s new survey of Chinese consumers found that 27 per cent of mainland Chinese tourists planned to look at properties over the next year as part of their travels, and that Australia was their No.1 destination to go shopping.
In Juwai’s list of top Australian destinations by inquiry, Brisbane came in third and the Gold Coast fourth, after Melbourne and Sydney.
Juwai spokesperson Dave Platter said demand for Gold Coast real estate in particular was likely to increase as buyers continued to return to the Australian property market.
“On the Gold Coast in particular, in both of the past two quarters, Chinese buyer inquiries have gone up double digits,” he said.
“It’s got relatively inexpensive prices for what you get, and there so much infrastructure and investment going in,” Mr Platter said, noting that the new public transport connections held particular appeal. “And it’s easy to get to from China.”
Of the Chinese consumers surveyed, 49 per cent were looking to travel during the school holidays in July and August, 42 per cent were looking at National Day Golden Week in October, and 29 per cent during Chinese New Year Golden Week in February.
While the numbers of buyers coming from China had been falling since 2016, internal research showed that it had recently flattened out and was showing signs of increasing again.
Mr Platter added that for Queensland especially, demand was quite seasonal, with a lot of buyers shopping for properties while they were on holiday.
“They’re really looking, and they might come back to purchase,” he said. “But we hear all the time about buyers who show up and buy.”
“A lot of the agents will rent out a van and drive families around, and introduce them to the local highlights.”
New builds were particularly appealing to Chinese buyers, he added, and many had already made good money from their investments in newly-built properties at home.
He said that as far as they could see, concerns about the build quality of off-the-plan purchases didn’t seem to be a big deterrent.
“It just reinforces the importance of buying from a good developer,” Mr Platter said.
Buyers preferred firms who had longer track record of development, and Mr Platter added that some of the biggest developers in Australia came from China, and so were already known to them.
He cited Australia’s quality of life, development and commercial ties with Asia as reasons it was a popular destination, as well as the power of education.
“Australia attracts a very large number of Chinese students,” he said. “Buying for a student who is going to be studying here is one of the most cited motivations among our buyers.”
Agent Val Parkin of Alex Phillis Real Estate in Paradise Point said he was getting quite a lot of inquiries from foreign buyers on his FIRB-approved apartment listings.
“I would say 50 per cent,” he said. “It has picked up for sure. We actually sold five already in the past month.”
He said the FIRB approval was big factor for foreign buyers and those properties currently offered a 10 per cent return, which made them appealing to investors.
“We advertise a lot on social media – through those channels,” he said.
Previous Juwai research had found an 50 per cent increase in the first half of 2019 – compared to the first half of 2018 – of inquiries from buyers looking for retirement properties, with the site now adding a specific retirement portal to their search engine.
WITH the RALAN GROUP collapse perhaps we ought step back a bit … and not feel so sorry for either the Salesman or his clients … were they too greedy? The Sales Rep was there when the bonuses were handed out!
HOW many of the RALAN GROUP buyers were members of Syndicates and/or the Property Investor Alliance? This alliance partners with developers to build apartments …
They hurtled along the Gravy Train until the wheels of Ralan fell off …
RELATED ARTICLE … Chinese-Australian property investors stand to lose millions in collapse of apartment developer Ralan Group
IN 2017 the Property Investor Alliance (PIA) had a 7000 investor base! The PIA Clients refinanced their properties to buy more! Some PIA Investors had up to 15 apartments!
THIS is about a Ponzi Scheme that has locked out a Whole Cohort of hardworking Australians from Home Ownership!
Our Australian Families …
And the best the Scomo Grubment can come up with … ‘affordable housing’ in what appears to be yet another PONZI Scheme to make our People life-long tenants in boarding houses, Build-to-Rent or Co-Living!
FOLLOWING is a compilation of articles gathered in ‘2017 CAAN Notes‘ that reveal how some within the Australian community have accumulated property portfolios and great wealth through the Housing Ponzi Scheme in this instance of Syndicates or an Investor Alliance … locking out incumbents seeking to buy ‘a home’!
BUYERS AGENTS, SYNDICATES & PROPERTY INVESTOR ALLIANCE Together Expedite the Demand for Aussie Homes …
WHY ARE CHINESE BUYERS SNAPPING UP SO MUCH AUSTRALIAN PROPERTY?
14 October 2015
As Four Corners reported on Monday, ‘The Great Wall of Money’, the number of Chinese investors buying Australian real estate is skyrocketing, surging more than 400% in the past five years. Chinese buyers are buying property, sight unseen, trusting in local agents to find them profitable investments.
But why is Australian real estate so attractive to the Chinese? Where are they hearing about it? And don’t we have laws against letting foreign buyers purchase land here?
-the price of a small house in Melbourne could be equal to that of an apartment in Beijing
-Chinese buyers also buy Australian property to house their children while they study at Australian universities
Former AUSTRAC boss John Schmidt told Four Corners that foreign investors were using relatives and setting up shell corporations to mask the real motive behind the purchases, but “they are the ones behind the scene pulling up the strings”.
An ATO spokesperson told Crikey:
“There are no restrictions on the number of vacant land, new properties, or established dwellings for redevelopment that foreign investors can receive approval to buy,” the ATO spokesperson said.
AUSTRALIAS NEWEST LANDLORD CHINESE INVESTOR GROUPS: PROPERTY INVESTMENT SEMINARS
MR JUSTIN WANG head of the Chinese “Property Investor Alliance”, the PIA, describes Australia’s property market as manna from heaven.
CONTRARY to the view expressed herein by Justin Wang Victoria has recently doubled its surcharge and levy for Foreign Investors; it has no qualms as with the prior increase there had been no fall in foreign investment.
IS it any wonder Australian First Home Buyers cannot get a look in with such property investor groups?
–the PIA started in 2006 advising mostly middle-income Chinese migrants to buy property
–7000-investor base since it started in 2006
–PIA partners with developers to build apartments; to sell to clients for a fee from the developer
-PIA clients refinance their properties to buy more; some have up to 15 apartments
The Property Investors Alliance has just built its own seminar auditorium and christened it with its latest seminar on how to invest in residential property in Sydney.
Officiating at the new hall was the group’s founder and managing director Justin Wang.
The Chinese-language only presentation also had 100 people sitting outside the hall watching on a screen as Wang, who began his career as a school teacher, talked on negative gearing, asset selection, tax and how Australia’s property market was manna from heaven.
“I feel like Moses, at the top of the mountain with two tablets in my arms,” says a smiling Wang, who’s a Christian. …“But Wang says little can go wrong, even in a recession.
He believes there will always be a demand for residential property, especially in Sydney and Melbourne, mostly because of an increasing flow of migrants. This means there will be high demand, coupled with a slow planning system that means housing is scarce.
‘The [NSW] state government must be supremely confident in the Sydney property market conditions that the new surcharge, which effectively doubles stamp duty for foreign investors, will not impact the local market,’ says Justin Wang, head of Property Investor Alliance
‘Australia’s newest landlord: Chinese investor groups‘
by Su-Lin Tan
In early June, 800 people jammed into a room on a chilly night at Sydney’s Olympic Park, not for a concert or work function but something far more evangelical.
The Property Investors Alliance has just built its own seminar auditorium and christened it with its latest seminar on how to invest in residential property in Sydney. Officiating at the new hall was the group’s founder and managing director Justin Wang.
The Chinese-language only presentation also had 100 people sitting outside the hall watching on a screen as Wang, who began his career as a school teacher, talked on negative gearing, asset selection, tax and how Australia’s property market was manna from heaven.
“I feel like Moses, at the top of the mountain with two tablets in my arms,” says a smiling Wang, who’s a Christian.
The Property Investor Alliance claims to have 7000 members. Most are Chinese middle-income migrants who have invested $1 million on average in the Australian property market.
This meeting is one of hundreds of property investment seminars the group has rolled out to its 7000-investor base since it started in 2006, advising and assisting its members, mostly middle-income Chinese migrants, to buy property.
The group, which resembles a co-operative, invested $1.75 billion in residential property last year, mainly in inner western Sydney suburbs such as Burwood and Strathfield, where the average annual capital growth rate was 8 to 14 per cent, according to real estate analysts CoreLogic.
Wang estimates the average portfolio for each client is about $1 million. He works with developers in bringing properties he thinks are suitable to members of PIA, and is then paid by the developers for each property his members buy.
Wang says he doesn’t impose any fees on his members.
However, the appetite for residential property could be tempered as state governments have moved to impose surcharges on foreign purchases, with New South Wales joining Queensland and Victoria.
In NSW this week the state government said a 4 per cent stamp duty and 0.75 per cent land tax would be applied to property bought and owned by foreign investors.
‘I challenge the government to reconsider’
The changes drew a sharp warning from Wang.
“The State Government must be supremely confident in the Sydney property market conditions that the new surcharge, which effectively doubles stamp duty for foreign investors, will not impact the local market, and that it will not impact further supply and not depress foreign investment potential in this state.
“I challenge the government to reconsider this surcharge and the timing.
Has the government forgotten the ill-advised vendor stamp duty introduced several years back, and quickly wound up? I hope that they don’t make the same mistake!
“For a healthy market to flourish, it is best not to artificially interfere with market forces of supply and demand. I call for the industry, and Government, to adopt a Taoist approach in relation to the market. Taoists let things achieve harmony on their own. By interfering, even in the name of ‘improvement’, well-intentioned efforts may actually remove a phenomenon from its natural course – and ultimately cause harm.”
One of the strongest property booms in Australian history has led to a proliferation of property investment seminars being held across hotels, many filled with free food and an army of suited consultants waiting to pounce on wannabe property buyers with the promise of almost doubling returns on a three-year investment.
‘Who’s looking after the investor?’
Wang rejects suggestions that PIA, which employs a team of 270 consultants, is in any way a “spruiker”.
His ambition is to make PIA the first “end-to-end property distribution channel”, connecting the developer to the investor while offering property market and financial advice.
“Agents just try and sell you apartments and take their commission. Some developers are so arrogant, trying to flog off their products and treat agents badly. Banks make interest. Who is looking after the investor?” he asks.
“When we sign up an investor, we teach them financials, the property market. We also investigate their budgets. We help them obtain the right finance. Then we find a good developer with the right products for them. Then we ensure they settle their purchases.”
Wang has removed clients when they have deviated from PIA’s investment approach.
PIA has relationships with Westpac and ANZ, and Wang says he is not about to jeopardise his no-default referrals to them by having a black sheep investor.
Westpac and ANZ declined to comment on its relationship with PIA on grounds of confidentiality.
Not everyone is a spruiker
Cam McLellan, a director of another property investor group, OpenCorp, agrees not everyone is a spruiker.
Industry experts with long memories recall individuals such as Henry Kaye, who headed a get-rich-quick property empire that targeted unsophisticated investors, and collapsed in 2003 owing 3500 investors up to $60 million.
“A spruiker’s seminars are always a sales pitch. You are going to be sold to and there will be ‘limited offers’,” says McLellan.
OpenCorp says it runs workshops, rather than seminars, which provide financial education to investors rather than sell properties. It makes its money finding property for clients,who engage them for a fee of 2.2 per cent of the purchase price, but does not sell properties for developers.
The company also has a $600 million apartment development pipeline in Melbourne but says it does not sell the properties direct to clients.
“To know if someone is a spruiker, you need to understand how they make their money,” says McLellan. “We make 99 per cent of ours in development and funds management, not in education.”
He adds that long-term mentoring and partnership with clients are signs of a healthy investment advisory business, especially if it teaches counter-cyclical long-term investment strategies.
Negative gearing not the key
PIA says it follows this model, only allowing its members to invest in properties commensurate with their wages. For example, a member earning $80,000 a year would not be allowed to buy property, typically an apartment, valued at more than $600,000 to $700,000. Most of the group’s investments are in Sydney’s fringes or growth areas including Homebush, Merrylands, Epping, Botany and Pagewood.
PIA partners with developers to build apartments, which it sells to clients and in return gets a fee from the developer.
“We focus on units for living only, that fulfils a renter’s basic needs. They need to be in high demand areas, just outside the CBD, with reasonable rental, access to local amenity and transport and have more than a gross yield of 3.5 per cent,” says Wang.
He doesn’t advocate negative gearing, although many properties will have a tiny negative cashflow gap in Sydney, he says. Neither does he believe in speculative investments.
“Negative gearing is a bonus, not the key to investment. If an investor makes it a purpose, it’s wrong.”
Clients in PIA refinance on their properties to buy more. Some of his clients, such as Johnson Ng, have up to 15 apartments. Ng was so persuaded by PIA’s investment techniques that he quit his logistics job to join PIA as a consultant.
Ng doesn’t believe Australia’s superannuation, employment rules and taxes help Australians look after their future and so PIA’s philosophy of “financial freedom” made sense to him.
He claims he makes 10 per cent a year on capital growth and about 300 to 400 per cent in return on his initial and only outlay – a deposit on the first apartment – each year. Such high returns could only be achieved through leverage.
Sydney market is ‘unique’
Wang migrated to Australia from China in 1993 and felt “poor”. “I was just surviving day to day,” he says.
He studied an MBA at the University Technology Sydney and started project marketing apartments for developers. One of his earliest sales was through developer Holdmark’s apartments in Auburn Central in Sydney’s west, which had fire safety issues in 2007.
The size of individual portfolios like Johnson Ng’s and the quality of the assets have raised eyebrows.
But Wang says little can go wrong, even in a recession.He believes there will always be a demand for residential property, especially in Sydney and Melbourne, mostly because of an increasing flow of migrants. This means there will be high demand, coupled with a slow planning system that means housing is scarce.
-‘Australia A hot Pick as Chinese go online to buy Property’
China’s Fosun Group has set up an online shopping-style platform to sell overseas properties, including Australian homes, to the Chinese middle class seeking a safe haven outside of the country to protect their wealth.
Estarhome.com, the new online-to-offline service, is providing another channel, apart from traditional agents, for Chinese investors to park their money in Australian properties that are seen as safe, and smart, investments.
Chinese buyers already account for the vast bulk of foreign investment in Australia’s property market, overwhelmingly in new apartments. The latest report from the Foreign Investment Review Board shows about two-thirds of the $61 billion in applications during the last financial year came from Chinese nationals.
-‘Why Chinese Investors keep Buying Ausralian Property: It’s Cheap’
By finance reporter Stephen Letts
24 Mar 2017
Sydney house prices have risen 106 per cent since 2009; with Melbourne up 89 per cent… from the perspective of China’s rapidly growing millionaire class, Australian capital city properties are not only cheap, but high-yielding as well. …China accounts for 80pc of foreign demand.
Based on house-price-to-income ratios, Sydney is now the second most expensive city in the western world and Melbourne the sixth most expensive, according to Demographia’s 2017 Housing Affordability survey.
Mr Tevfik said with housing demand outstripping supply in Australia, the major component of the strong demand comes from abroad — and principally, China.
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IS this a case of ‘serves you right’ for getting on the band-wagon and going for a bag-full of dosh, and to hell with the risks involved?
IS this about upholding a scheme that by its very nature is unsustainable?
IS this about trying to look like victims when it goes pear-shaped, but in fact it was really about exploitation of opportunities?
How true is it?
-reference to ‘Chinese Australian’ buyers … where is this coming from, is it so?
-are we supposed to feel sorry for this salesman? He was there for sure when the bonuses were handed out!
A PONZI Scheme that has locked out a Whole Cohort of Australians from Home Ownership!
Give us all a break, we aren’t all that stupid …
-it’s another example of the gravy train hurtling along and sweeping up those seeking and enjoying the ride until the wheels fall off! COULD it be that a large number of these investors were members of the Property Investor Alliance (PIA) which a couple of years ago had a 7000 investor base? PIA clients refinance their properties to buy more; some had up to 15 apartments.
When Ralan Group went into administration in July with debts of $500 million and five unfinished projects, its demise was seen by some as a symptom of the downturn in Australia’s apartment market.
But there is a more complex side to this massive corporate collapse.
The ABC has obtained contracts that show Ralan was asking homebuyers to release their deposits as extremely risky loans to the company in return for 15 per cent annual interest.
Because the loans were not secured to Ralan’s assets, investors who agreed to release their deposits to the company are unlikely to get any of their money back now it has collapsed.
Accounts released by the administrator reveal only a fraction of investors’ deposits remain in trust accounts set up for each development — the rest is believed to have been spent on Ralan’s business costs and paying off previous investors’ interest.
The case has raised concerns about this method of financing off-the-plan developments being used across the industry.
Said Jahani from administrator Grant Thornton said Ralan could be referred to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for investigation into whether the loans are in breach of laws designed to protect investors.
“Once you start raising money beyond 20 people, you need to have licenses from ASIC, you need to follow strict protocols in terms of how you produce documents, like a product disclosure statement. None of that was actually done by Ralan,” he said.
Mr Jahani is now digging through the Ralan’s financial records to find out how long the 21-year-old company has been tapping investors for cash.
“From what we can tell, they’ve been doing this right from the beginning,” he said.
“That created a massive flow of funds into Ralan. As long as they kept developing the next project, they always had the next presale going and allowing that to then continue to fund the working capital for the business.”
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The Ralan Group’s founder and sole director William O’Dwyer has declined interview requests. Through his lawyers, he said he deeply regrets the stress and anxiety caused to creditors.
“We stress that any negative publicity in relation to our client and the Ralan Group could jeopardise any rescue or restructure proposal,” his lawyer said in an email.
The company’s immediate future is being led by the administrators and receivers appointed by Ralan’s major lenders, including Westpac and the boutique financier Wingate.
Both lenders deny any knowledge of the investor loan agreements, however they are now facing the threat of at least three separate class actions being investigated on behalf of investors who say Westpac and Wingate have profited from their losses.
He met small business owner Leon Chen through a community group and in 2013 convinced him to invest $250,000 in two units.
“It’s a disaster,” Mr Chen said.
“I am young and I can still come back from it, compared to the older retired people. They probably invested in this to try to get some more income to support their life, but now they’ve lost everything.”
The ABC has spoken to several Ralan investors who were referred to the company through friends or relatives.
Mr Chen convinced members of his extended family in China to invest with the company.
“They just trust me, and now I’ve lost my trust. What can I say to them?”
Mr Chen is among about 300 investors who have registered their interest in a class action law suit being investigated by Sydney lawyer Matthew Bransgrove.