Chinese New Year falls on 28 January this year, and marks the start of 'Chinese Lunar New Year Golden Week', a national holiday of seven continuous days during which millions of Chinese tourist head overseas.
Ctrip, China’s largest online travel agency, predicts more than 6 million Chinese will travel overseas during Golden Week this year, and Australia will be a top-ten destination.
Many of these tourists will no doubt use the break for a well-known Chinese past-time - a 'propiday', a holiday during which you buy a property.
Despite tighter government controls and more rigorous bank lending, Chinese demand for Australian real estate is likely to be strong this Chinese New Year, says Jon Ellis, founder and CEO of Investorist.
"There is no doubt the tightening of domestic banking has caused a slowdown in the flow of property buyers from China," Ellis told SCHWARTZWILLIAMS.
"However, several banks continue to lend to offshore purchasers, so, whilst slowing the flow, it has certainly not dampened Chinese buyers' long standing enthusiasm for Australian real estate," he said.
Ellis says that though Chinese do often buy property when they are on holidays in Australia, most sales are made off-the-plan in China.
"It is true the two 'Golden Weeks’ (in October and January/February) traditionally bring an influx of both Chinese tourists and investors," said Ellis, adding, "the majority of Chinese property purchases are for off-the-plan property, and typically those sales are made in China."
According to Investorist, Chinese investors traditionally seek properties close to the city in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, with good access to transport, schools and services.
Investorist says more Chinese are turning to house and land packages, though they have traditionally bought apartments.
Investorist advises that agents can prepare for Golden Week by:
- having all project and price information readily available and up to date on their websites, and on b2b marketplaces such as Investorist.com
- having Mandarin or Cantonese translations of marketing materials
- having staff at displays who speak Mandarin and Cantonese if possible
- be culturally aware, for example highlight features that will be positive for Chinese buyers, such as using lucky colours such as red and yellow, and lucky numbers such as eight or multiples of eights
- offering Golden Week incentives for buyers
Recent data from JLL’s Global Capital Flows shows China bought a record US$33 billion (AU$43 billion) worth of overseas commercial and residential property in 2016, a record amount and an increase of nearly 53 percent year-on-year.
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