A weaker Australian dollar and lower interest rates are attracting Australian expats working abroad and Chinese nationals to Sydney’s executive property market, according to Raine&Horne.
CEO Angus Raine said despite the Reserve Bank's (RBA) decision to leave interest rates on hold, there were encouraging signs that demand for executive properties valued above $2 million was stronger than ever, particularly where vendors were prepared to meet buyer expectations.
“It’s also fair to expect that if the Australian dollar continues to fall, cashed-up foreign-based buyers and investors will start to park even more cash in Australian bricks and mortar,” he said.
Principal of Raine&Horne Palm Beach, Glenn Lee said a number of factors were contributing to the significant increase in overseas buyer enquiry for executive homes.
“Firstly, there has been the rallying of the stock market in 2013, which often runs parallel with growing levels of property enquiry,” said Mr Lee.
“At the same time, the recent correction of the Australian dollar has resulted in a pick-up in overseas enquiries, primarily from expats in Singapore, Hong Kong and London.”
Expats saw little value in Australian property when the dollar was running well above parity against the United States.
“Expats were complaining that Australian property was 20 to 30 per cent more expensive than a couple of years ago, even with the corrections in the housing market,” said Mr Lee.
“The fall of the dollar and lower interest rates are once again attracting motivated expat buyers to the Australian housing market.”
Principal of Raine&Horne Mosman Brendan Warner said Sydney’s lower north shore had been attracting attention from Chinese nationals.
“Mainland Chinese nationals have aggressively competed for homes over the last six months,” he said.
According to Mr Warner, properties priced between $2 million and $3.5 million were popular with local and foreign buyers, although a shortage of available housing stock was restricting the ambitions of some buyers.
Co-principal of Raine&Horne Double Bay-Bondi Beach Barry Goldman said overseas internet enquiry had increased in his region.
“We have noticed an increase in the number of emails from expat buyers residing in Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK for premier residences in Double Bay, Vaucluse, Bondi and Bellevue Hill," he said.
“The combination of a lack of stock at the top end and the growing number of qualified buyers in the market is likely to improve the chances of a great sales result in the coming months,” said Mr Goldman, who added that properties with views are generating the most enquiries.