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Kiwis eye-off Australian real estate in greater numbers

New Zealand property seekers have their eyes firmly on the Australian real estate market, outranking the US and China as the overseas cohort with the largest increase in property searches Down Under.

The PropTrack Overseas Search Report analysed overseas search activity on realestate.com.au in 2021 and found searches from New Zealand had soared 37 per cent compared to 2020.

“New Zealand has taken the top spot from the United States as the country with the largest increase in searches year-on-year (37 per cent), driven by the opening of the trans-Tasman travel bubble, mid-year,” PropTrack Analyst and report author Karen Dellow said.

“China also made a comeback in December, increasing by 13 per cent on December 2020.

“Searches from the United States and United Kingdom have come back down to pre-pandemic levels and ended the year down 28 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively.”

The report showed overseas searches started 2021 on a high, despite Australia’s closed borders, but fell away as the year progressed to finish with a 9.19 per cent drop year-on-year in December.

On the opposite end of the scale, international searches for rental properties jumped 15.06 per cent year-on-year.

“This increase is likely driven by the re-opening of borders allowing students and migrant workers to consider returning to Australia,” Ms Dellow said.

Where buyers are looking

For the second consecutive year the Gold Coast was the most searched region, followed by Brisbane.

“The surge in interest in Queensland is coming from all of the top countries, however, 50 per cent of searches for the Gold Coast are from New Zealand,” Ms Dellow said.

“Brisbane pipped Melbourne and Sydney to the post and took the second spot, in a year where Queensland was definitely the hot spot for property seekers from Australia and overseas.”

Buyers from China were attracted to Melbourne suburbs with large Chinese populations such as Glen Waverley and Mount Waverley, as were those from Hong Kong, who also showed interest in the NSW suburbs of Epping and Chatswood.

Singaporean buyers spread their interest across the country in 2021, with Melbourne and Brisbane, along with Perth’s inner city and CBD suburbs ranking at the top of their wishlist.

“Previously, blue chip Melbourne suburbs such as Toorak and Brighton had been in the top list for Singaporean property seekers, however, the Gold Coast and Brisbane also caught their fancy in 2021,” Ms Dellow said.

High demand for inner city luxury apartments

Overseas property seekers continued their love affair with luxury apartments in 2021, viewing 111 Castlereagh St, Sydney, more than any other new development.

The Ocean development on the Gold Coast. Source: realestate.com.au

Ocean, in Surfers Paradise, was second on the list of most viewed while the only apartment complex to literally be in the clouds, Australia 108 at Melbourne’s Southbank, made it into the Top 5 for 2021,” Ms Dellow said.

“The 100th floor penthouse suite, in Australia 108, was bought for $25 million, in 2015, by a businessman from China.”

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