Locally and overseas-based Asian buyers are dominating Gosford real estate, according to a leading local area specialist, with properties ranging from entry-level apartments to multi-million dollar waterfronts in their sights.
According to Geoff Tilden, Principal of Raine & Horne Gosford, Asian buyers represent around 50 percent of enquiries for an elegant waterfront property at 29 Albany Street, Point Frederick.
“This property will go to auction on Saturday 21 June and proves that Asian interest in Gosford real estate priced above $2 million is strong,” says Mr Tilden.
“That’s not to say we haven’t seen interest in other price points from Asian buyers, demonstrated by enquiries for a two-bedroom apartment at 42/91 John White Way, Gosford, which is selling by private treaty for offers above $395,000.”
The appeal of Gosford can be linked to its location and lifestyle features that are highly sought by Asian buyers, according to Mr Tilden.
“Gosford is popular because it ticks many boxes for Asian buyers, such as access to a railway station, while the decision to open a University of Newcastle campus, which will have 1800 places, has also been recognised as a plus by Chinese buyers,” says Mr Tilden.
“Railway stations have been crucial to real estate markets in St Leonards, Chatswood and Hornsby. Those markets are now almost maxed out and Asian attention is focusing further north to Gosford, which is just 60 minutes by train to Sydney.”
An explosion of residential developments of former commercial properties has also contributed to Gosford’s popularity with Asian buyers.
“Many commercial assets in Gosford have been sold to Chinese investors, and as these properties have mixed use zoning, we expect new buildings to spring up that have both residential and commercial aspects to them,” says Mr Tilden.
“In response to Gosford’s growing popularity with Asian buyers, we have added Hong Kong-born Belinda Harris and her Cantonese and Mandarin speaking daughter, Sam Harris, to the team at Raine & Horne Gosford.”
Raine & Horne Gosford recently secured a sales and property management business associated with one of its competitors, and apart from Belinda and Sam Harris, also added two additional sales team members and five property management specialists.
The merged entity will continue to operate from Raine & Horne Gosford’s current address at 150 Mann Street, Gosford, although the beefed up team will now operate from two floors of the well-located building from 1 June, 2014.
As part of the acquisition, Raine & Horne Gosford has also bolstered its rent roll by 30%.
“The multilingual Belinda and Sam are already proving a big plus for the business and are helping us deliver the very best products and services to our growing Asian database,” says Mr Tilden.
Belinda Harris, who spent a decade working in Hong Kong’s competitive property market, before shifting to Australia in 2003, says the level of Asian enquiry for Gosford real estate has jumped three-fold since 2012.
“It’s really difficult to put a number on how many Asian buyers live overseas, however there is evidence that many buyers are using a local representative, such as a relative, friend or business associate, to attend open homes and auctions,” says Ms Harris.
“This is not an unusual practice for Asian investors, as the identity of the majority of buyers was a mystery throughout my ten-year stint selling homes in Hong Kong.”
As for the outlook of Gosford as an investment hub, Ms Harris believes the future is rosy.
“One thing I have learnt about Chinese investors is that once they know where they can make money, they’ll all follow. This bodes well for the long-term prospects of Gosford real estate,” says Ms Harris.