NAB: Foreign buyer property demand picks-up

By Leith van Onselen

Last week, the ANZ-Property Council Survey for the March quarter was released, which noted a rebounding of residential property sales to foreign (non-Australian resident) buyers, driven by NSW, QLD and SA:

ScreenHunter_16891 Jan. 17 09.57

As shown above, foreign buyers accounted for 21% of residential property sales nationally, with VIC (25%) and NSW (24%) most affected.

Now, NAB has released its Q4 Australian Residential Property Survey, which also revealed a strengthening of demand from foreign buyers:

The latest NAB survey results suggest that foreign buyers increased their market share in both new and established housing markets for the first time since late-2015.

In Q4, foreign buyers accounted for 10.9% of all new property purchases (10.2% in Q3) – the highest level since Q1’16. In established housing markets, their share rose to 7.6% (6.4% in Q3) – the highest level since Q4 2015.

ScreenHunter_17092 Jan. 24 17.16

In new property markets, foreign buyers were noticeably more prevalent in VIC, where their market share of sales rose to 19.3% (15.0% in Q3). In WA, their market share grew to 9.3% (6.6% in Q4). Interestingly, the share of foreign buyers in WA has been climbing steadily since Q2’16, suggesting foreign buyers may be seeing greater value as local prices fall. Foreign buyer levels were however broadly unchanged in NSW at 8.1% (8.0% in Q3) and fell in QLD to 9.2% (10.5% in Q3) to its lowest level since mid-2014.

ScreenHunter_17091 Jan. 24 17.14

In established housing markets, the share of foreign buyers increased to 10.8% in VIC (8.5% in Q3) – its highest level in over a year – and 8.4% in NSW (7.2% in Q3). Foreign buyers were also a little more active in WA (5.4% vs. 5.2% in Q3), but were less prominent in QLD, where their market share fell to just 5.0% (5.7% in Q3) – the lowest since mid-2012.

ScreenHunter_17093 Jan. 24 17.17

Clearly, foreign buyers are continuing to have a significant inflationary impact on the established bubble markets of Victoria (10.8% share) and NSW (8.4% share).

NAB also should qualify what it means by foreign buyers of established property. These are clearly not all FIRB approved. So are we tracking illegals here?

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Unconventional Economist
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  1. “Last week, the ANZ-Property Council Survey for the March quarter was released, which noted a rebounding of residential property sales to foreign (non-Australian resident) buyers, driven by NSW, QLD and SA:”

    As the March Quarter has just started and the survey you mention is around SENTIMENT, I suggest you rephrase this first sentence to reflect the reality of the report. How can we know the first quarter sales figures in January before the first quarter is even complete?????

    • Easy. The numbers are clearly influenced by Chinese transactions and they are most adept at putting out quarterly data in the middle of the quarter. When in Rome.

      Clearly the uptick coincides with the latest tightening measures and those with the ability to get money out are taking full advantage before any further crackdowns? Even if the uptick predates this, you’d think there’d be enough Chinese people on the inside who had the heads up and started offshoring.

  2. clearly wrong and nothing to see here!
    FIRB + ATO have looked into this and determined that no foreign buyers are purchasing stock in existing markets. i mean if the above data was accurate then we’d see lots of forced sales, fines and prosecutions of not just foreign buyers but agents, lawyers, brokers etc

    • But…. foreigners are allowed to buy new, or can if they reside here for school or work….


    • +1
      2yrs after Kelly O’Dwyer announced her “crackdown”
      Thousands of unapproved and illegal sales of existing dwellings to foreign nationals still occurring as predicted
      Thousands of offences still being committed in plain sight as predicted
      FIRB still asleep at the wheel
      The incompetent (if not corrupt) Brian Wilson still chair of the FIRB
      Where is Kelly O’Dwyer?
      Why is she not being held accountable for this ongoing world-beating regulatory failure?
      The free-for-all continues

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Where”s Kelly? Cleaning her teeth with a swirlon.

        No, that’s rude. She did the job the party wanted. Hide facts.

      • Portsea Polo I believe. That review kicked her career off beautifully. They offered her some enticing gigs to shut her up. Looks like Pauline Hanson is headed the same way. Where has she been lately?

  3. If report is correct wouldn’t our banks and government be breaking Chinese law by allowing Chinese buyers to use funds from China as deposits? all Chinese have to sign a declaration that they will not be buying RE overseas.
    I am assuming those foreign buyers are Chinese – I see no reason to see Germans investors here..

  4. Is there any explanation of their methodology? How do they track this data? Without some transparency over their methods, isn’t it all just guesstimates?

  5. wrong wrong wrong Dear Gladys stated clearly this morning that per Property Council decree evidence, the issue is supply, NOT CGT or Negative Gearing or immigration.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      She is totally correct ….it is supply …….we are so busy supplying Chinese Nationals with homes in Straya that we have no supply to provide for our own citizens ……………..Gladys wrap your brain around that idea and get on the phone to Malcolm and try to stir him into some sembelance of leadership for an increasingly pissed off nation …………

  6. reusachtigeMEMBER

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMM!!! So who’s missed out by choosing the losing side? Every day that goes by those holding out lose more and more. They will always be losers as the boom is perpetual!

  7. As what I said before foreign purchase stamp duty should be taxed on the same rate(30%) as income tax. Why we pay tax to main environment, infrastructure, and govt bodies including pollies …and overseas buyer come here has the same right ? They are taking free ride out of general Australia people.

    • How about we approve foreign purchases of new-builds only?
      How about we require proof of purchasers FIRB approval/compliant residency status on the transfer of title?
      How about we enforce the freaking law?

      • Enforce the law???? Silly old Sausage…. They are the people who give us bribes…..not the ones that just pay our wages…

  8. unfortunately the government will continue to jaw-bone on foreign sales for as long as joe-public thinks rising house prices are a good thing….. even then, it will be reluctant to truly stop foreigners as they have seen what happened in China. It’s too late to burst this bubble, the government now needs to ‘manage’ it.