Independent aims to cash in on ‘extraordinary’ Chinese demand

Coronis is about to open a China office as part of a strategy to massively expand its foreign business.

The Brisbane-based group has launched an international division to capitalise on the growing interest in Australian property by Asian investors, particularly Chinese.

Managing director Andrew Coronis told Real Estate Business foreign investors now provide less than 5 per cent of the agency’s sales volumes, but that this would rise to nearly 50 per cent by 2020.

“We’ve done a lot of research towards this and the number of Chinese investors who are going to be coming and placing money in Australia in property is quite extraordinary, so we had to get in on the ground floor,” Mr Coronis said.

Coronis International has four bilingual staff in Australia and will also open an office in China next month, he said.

Mr Coronis said the business had been designed with a low cost base so it could cope with reduced demand if, say, the Australian dollar were to rise sharply or the federal government tightened foreign investment rules.

Coronis is a highly diversified group that also offers property management, mortgage broking, financial planning, conveyancing and budgeting.

This sort of end-to-end service is highly valued by foreign investors because they need more hand-holding than local clients, according to Mr Coronis.

“You’ve got to do a lot due diligence for them and you’ve got to be able to prove that the products you’re telling them about are reasonable products.”

Mr Coronis said the group will recommend property to foreign buyers only when it is in a growth corridor; close to public transport, shopping and schools; and forecast to exceed long-term growth averages over the next 10 years.

“The way the Chinese culture works is that it’s a lot more referral-based than Australian culture, so the idea is that when somebody does well out of a property investment and they feel secure, they will go and tell all their family who will go and buy one as well.”

Mr Coronis told Real Estate Business that foreign buyers are showing increasing interest in Queensland rather than just focusing on Sydney and Melbourne.

“We have been getting hundreds of enquiries from overseas clients and have started running Chinese- and English-speaking seminars to cater for the demand.”

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