Online searches for Australian property from overseas buyers are on the rise as immigration levels hit record highs.
According to PropTrack, searches on realestate.com.au for Australian properties from overseas property seekers have risen 11.5 per cent in the past three months. Meanwhile, rent searches are up 7.8 per cent from the same demographic.
PropTrack Senior Data Analyst, Karen Dellow, said record immigration is leading the trend that is likely to continue. “With migration returning to pre-pandemic levels, we are seeing increased interest from overseas property seekers looking to settle on our shores,” Ms Dellow said. “Although many migrants will initially rent, stay with family or live in share accommodation, given time the majority will go on to buy a property.”
Foreign buyers have been targeting Melbourne, along with other popular locations including the Gold Coast, Greater Brisbane, Sydney and Perth. Popular Melbourne locations of Brunswick East, Carlton North, Brighton East and Essendon have all seen more than a 50 per cent surge in online searches in the past three months. At the same time, search interest for Ashgrove in QLD was up 45.06 per cent.
Ms Dellow said the largest growth locations for renters are an unusual mix of city and regional areas, with searches for South Western Sydney increasing by 111 per cent in the past six months, closely followed by Torquay in regional Victoria. “There are plenty more beachside locations on the list, including Mermaid Waters and Mooloolaba, both in Queensland,” she said.
Ms Dellow noted searches from Chinese buyers were also on the rise after dropping away dramatically during the COVID years. “The same is the case for rental searches from China, which are nearly double the volumes seen before the pandemic,” she explained. “This increase is primarily driven by the return of students and migrant workers to our shores.”
She also stated, that a quarter of overseas buy and rent searches overseas are from New Zealand. “Rental searches from across the Tasman have increased by 38 per cent from last year, and buy searches are up 7 per cent,” she said.
Ms Dellow commented that since Australia’s borders reopened and the government started ramping up immigration, online searches have been rapidly increasing. “Opening the border had a significant impact on the population, according to recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS),” she said. “Australia’s population grew by 1.9 per cent in 2022 – an increase of 496,800 over the 12 months, which was the biggest increase in 15 years. Of that total increase, 78 per cent came from overseas migration, most of which were overseas students.”
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