As the political upheaval in Hong Kong continues unabated, property searches from the troubled city zeroing in on Australia continue to grow.
Protests against the legislative proposals that would strengthen Chinese control over the territory have entered their sixth month. With Hong Kong facing an undercertain future, it appears more and more locals are looking to move to Australia, if search activity on realestate.com.au is any guide.
According to data provided by Australia’s no. 1 property website, search from Hong Kong was up a massive 34 per cent in September compared to the same month last year.
Buyer’s agent Leon Jacques from Cohen Handler said word was getting back to the Australian market about what the troubles in Hong Kong could mean here.
“We haven’t felt it yet but we have had a number of prospective buyers, Aussie expats, saying that if things escalate, they won’t hang around. They will be on the next plane here,” he said.
“There are also some very wealthy Asian buyers that want premium properties.”
Overseas buyers continue to be lured by the dependability of the Sydney and Melbourne property markets.
“There are certainly more buyers and investors, both local and overseas, looking at Sydney and Melbourne as stable economies and big cities,” Mr Jacques said.
“The volatility in those markets is not like that in other Australian markets. The long term trend is upwards. As such they are seen as safe havens.”
The areas witnessing the most dramatic increase in search activity from Hong Kong are Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. The South Australian capital is only experiencing slightly less searches from Hong Kong locals than Sydney. However when broken down suburb by suburb, the Harbour City dominates.
These were the top Australian suburbs for Hong Kong property seekers in August*:
2. Epping (NSW)
4. Gold Coast
6. Glen Waverley
7. Doncaster East
11. Box Hill (Vic)
* Source: realestate.com.au
Countries enjoying the greatest increase in searches of property in Australia, tend to be those enduring political instability. In this case it is Hong Kong, and the UK — due to the continued uncertainty over Brexit.
Countries with a struggling economy can also experience significant jumps, currently New Zealand fits this billing.
Overall Australia continues to be seen as a less attractive place than before for those in China looking to live or invest Down Under.
However the rate of decline in search activity is plateauing.
“It is likely better performance of the Sydney and Melbourne markets are drivers of this. particularly given how negative Asian buyers were towards the Australian market once the downturn began,” Ms Conisbee said.