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China spurring a construction boom?

By Rich Harvey, CEO, propertybuyer.com.au

As we haul ourselves out of the mining boom, it looks like major residential growth for Australia could come from offshore investment. 

Asian equity broker CLSA has released a report focusing on investment in Australia, which is second only to Canada as the preferred destination for Chinese immigrants. The CLSA's intention was to get hard data for the investment relationship between Australia and China, which has long relied on hearsay. 

China was already the top foreign investor in Australia according to 2013 data, and the new CLSA report suggests that 1 in 7 of the wealthiest Chinese families are interested in setting up in Australia - approximately 10 million households.

While not all of these households will be able to migrate to Australia, it is a firm indicator of the level of Chinese interest in the country, which could lead to more investment.

While confidence continues to recover from the budget and we all search for the next big boom in the economy, it may quietly be coming up on us through the construction sector. With so many overseas parties wanting to buy investment property in Sydney, the construction sector  is seeing a strong uptick in dwelling commencements, which boosts employment levels as well as the housing market. 

The CLSA thinks single family dwelling approvals are going to peak in mid-2016 at 140,000 (seasonally adjusted), building on previous peaks of 128,000 in 2003 and slightly less than this in late 2009.

This interest may continue for up to three years, and is an excellent opportunity for anyone who wants to get on board as an overseas investor. Buyer agents can work with you and development companies to determine the best places to purchase investment property, based on local insider knowledge and a sharp eye for which developments will give the best returns. 

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