> 5% property owned by overseas buyers

Some interesting info here, especially the maps.

http://www.digitalfinanceanalytics.com/blog/more-than-5-of-property-is-owned-by-overseas-buyers/

First, we think that of the nearly $6 trillion of residential real estate in Australia, certainly more than 5% is owned by overseas buyers, which is worth more than $300 billion in today's terms. More than half of the property is in Sydney, a quarter in Melbourne, and the rest spread across the other states.

However, one of the most interesting elements in the data is the concentration in specific post codes. We have geo-mapped the data for some of the major centres.

In Sydney, the hot spots were Millers Point, Surry Hills, Hurstville and the inner East. The average purchase price was around $400,000 and was most likely a unit (some purchased some time back, when prices were lower than today). Actual prices ranged from more than $1m, down to below $250k. Almost none of the properties were mortgaged to an Australian bank. In these contested areas, prices will be pushed higher.

In Brisbane, the hot spots were McDowall, Oxley (Qld), East Brisbane, Fortitude Valley and Wavell Heights. The average price was $325,000, with again a focus on units.

In the west, in Perth, the favoured areas were Mount Claremont, Nedlands, Subiaco and East Perth. Average price was $497,000 and a larger proportion of purchases were houses than in the eastern states.

In Melbourne, favoured areas included Hawthorn, Melbourne, Maribyrnong, Brunswick, Kew, Richmond, Footscray, Fitzroy and St Kilda. Average value was $312,000, and was biased towards units.

Finally, in Canberra, the average was $580,000.

Their conclusions below are generally in line with my observations, however their last few questions appear naive to say the least.

We can draw some general conclusions. The argument that most overseas buyers are buying multi-million dollar properties so there is no contention with first time buyers will not wash. They are competing for similar properties. Many are temporarily in Australia, but are using money from foreign sources, often family funds. Next, they are buying in areas adjacent to the CBD and are happy to purchase high density units (many will be familiar with this style of living from their own cities). These are also the targets of onshore investors, another reason why prices are rising. Finally, we found that many were looking to hold the property for capital growth (rather than rental income). About one fifth of the property was currently vacant. This hints at a worrying trend, are some investors just letting the property stand idle and empty? What does this do to the area, and other units in the block? Is there a case for an occupancy test? Given the rise in the number of property inactive Australians and the rise in people wanting to rent, is there a way to make these vacant properties more accessible to potential tenants?
 
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Not sure what the statute of limitations is on breaking the laws relating to foreign ownership but one way to ensure these properties don't stay vacant is to force those who brought the properties in contravention of the law to sell them.
 
Not sure what the statute of limitations is on breaking the laws relating to foreign ownership but one way to ensure these properties don't stay vacant is to force those who brought the properties in contravention of the law to sell them.

Its illegal to leave a property empty? Since when?
 
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