COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way we conduct our lives and the public health response by our state and federal governments and key agencies, which has allowed Australians to begin living with a degree of normality, has not gone unnoticed internationally.
As a result, Australia’s comparatively safe and stable property market is attracting plenty of interest from foreign investors, in particular, from mainland China.
In response to local demand from the Australian Chinese community and anticipated foreign demand for translation, negotiation and campaign assistance tailored to the Chinese market, The Agency Property Partner Linda Wu and CEO Matt Lahood have launched a national China Desk service.
“The interest in buying Australian property from mainland China is significant,” Ms Wu said.
“We have seen buyers purchase sight unseen from China via Zoom.
“This investment trend will increase once travel restrictions lift as there is a lot of disposable income in China, their economy has fared well despite the pandemic.”
Although overall investment from mainland China in Australia has fallen over the past few years, particularly throughout 2020, Ms Wu predicted both a return in foreign investment and a second wave of migration from Hong Kong residents, similar to that of the late 1980s.
“After the civil chaos we saw in 2019 and the recent introduction of new security laws in Hong Kong by mainland China, there is enormous demand from Hong Kong residents to relocate to Australia,” she said.
“Once the COVID-19 travel restrictions lift we will see an influx of Hong Kong property buyers.”
Australia experienced a wave of migration from Hong Kong in the late 1980s in response to a lifting of immigration restrictions.
Most of these migrants – many of whom were business owners – entered Australia under the Skilled Migration Program and Concessional Family Migration Program.
A total of 75,480 people arrived in Australia from from Hong Kong between 1984 and 1996, prior to the 1997 return of Hong Kong to mainland China.
“There are many second-generation Hong Kong migrants in Australia, who returned to Hong Kong to work, they are wanting to bring the third generation back to Australia for schooling and to live,” Ms Wu said.
Mr Lahood said Ms Wu would be heading up the new national China Desk service, which he said would be available to all of The Agency’s agents, either in person or via digital means such as Zoom.
“This will include working with Chinese vendors and buyers and assisting with translation, negotiation and campaign strategy,” Mr Lahood said.
“Linda Wu is an incredibly experienced agent with more than two decades in the business, she was born in Hong Kong and speaks both Cantonese and Mandarin.
“For some time I have felt the need to establish this important service to our agents.”
Ms Wu is looking forward to sharing her knowledge with the team. This will include attending open for inspections, listing presentations and collaboration on campaigns.
Mr Lahood said Ms Wu is a skilled negotiator, problem solver and highly regarded within the Australian Chinese community, and the China Desk service would go well beyond translation services.