Chinese demand for Aust property endures

Chinese property investors remain interested in the Sydney and Melbourne markets despite a recent housing slowdown, an Australian architect working with Chinese developers says.

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Despite recent official warnings of a property slowdown, Chinese developers are still interested in putting their money into new Australian residential developments, architect Drew Dickson says.

“It’s still very robust,” Mr Dickson told AAP.

Mr Dickson, whose firm Drew Dickson Architects designs residential towers for Chinese developers, said Australia was an attractive investment destination, partly due to its favourable exchange rate.

“We’re getting a lot of work from Chinese companies coming into Australia investing in property,” Mr Dickson said.

“It may have slowed down slightly but we’re seeing a large amount of interest in investment property from China.”

Mr Dickson, who spoke at a launch of the forthcoming China International Fair for Investment and Trade, to be held in China in September, said the nation’s two largest property markets of Sydney and Melbourne were still key markets, with the smaller centres of Brisbane and Perth also featuring on investors’ radars.

“Probably, it’s the dollar, the security of a solid investment destination and we have a very well established Chinese population,” Mr Dickson said.

The enthusiasm for new apartment building comes despite warnings of further slowing in the Australian residential property sector.

The Reserve Bank of Australia recently said a sharp economic slowdown in China could have serious knock-on effects for Australia’s housing market, with a substantial reduction in Chinese demand likely to weigh heavily on the apartment markets of inner-city Melbourne and parts of Sydney.

CoreLogic RP Data figures released this month show capital city housing values were stagnant in March as conditions cooled in the nation’s hotspots, with annual home value growth across Australia’s capital cities reaching its lowest point in 31 months, up just 6.4 per cent.

Mr Dickson said his firm was also providing services in China such as large-scale master planning concept design.

“In our more international markets, we tend to partner with local companies and then hand over to local businesses to complete,” he said.

He said Australia and China had a strong, underlying degree of trust and business relationships were getting stronger.

“What happens at a political level doesn’t really reflect what happens at a business level,” he said.