China’s economic future has led to fears the yuan will be devalued, which is the biggest driver of new Chinese eyeing up Australian properties.
A new survey revealed 43 per cent of respondents believed a devaluation would increase Chinese demand, while 9 per cent believed interest would rise significantly.
Conducted by Property TV and juwai.com, the report also attributed the trade war to increased Chinese investment in Australia.
While economic conditions in China deteriorate, nearly half of respondents felt policies from the new Coalition government had no impact in attracting Chinese investment in real estate.
“The results show that Chinese buyers are not disappearing,” said Property TV programming and content president Kevin Turner. “Most in the industry believe Chinese buying in the year to come will remain about the same or even grow further.”
The value of the Chinese currency has dropped to the point the US is calling China a currency manipulator, he said.
“Many Chinese worry that their currency could lose more value in the months or years to come. They want to protect their savings by investing some of it overseas.”
As a result, juwai.com has seen an increase in Chinese investor interest, up by nearly 40 per cent this year.
There has been nearly a 90 per cent spike in inquiries in Sydney and 20 per cent in Melbourne.
“Buyer levers were pretty low last year compared to the peaks we saw in 2015 and 2016,” juwai.com executive chairman Georg Chmiel said.
“Chinese buyers are regaining faith in Australia as the market begins to level out.
“The US dollar is traditionally favoured as the currency in which Chinese most like to hedge against exchange rate risks, but the trade war has made many Chinese nervous about making new investments in the United States. Australia is a natural alternative and stands to benefit from some level of displaced investment.”