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Sydney's migrant population should influence investment decisions

By Rich Harvey, CEO, propertybuyer.com.au

Population plays a major role in real estate investment strategy, and based on new data, those looking to buy investment property in Sydney might want to consider appealing to foreign buyers.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recently reported that Aussies born overseas are more likely to live in major urban centres. This is proven by the fact that half of all migrants currently live in Sydney or Melbourne.

The fact that one in four Australians is born overseas makes this even more vital knowledge for property buyers.

"We found that the suburbs with the highest proportion of people born overseas included Haymarket in Sydney, Clayton in Melbourne, Robertson in Brisbane, Regency Park in Adelaide, and Northbridge in Perth," said ABS Assistant Director of Social and Progress Reporting Guinevere Hunt.

"Suburbs near universities also have high proportions of migrants."

This data is supported by a recent report from Credit Suisse showing that Chinese real estate buyers are purchasing $5 billion worth of Australian property per annum. In other words, Chinese home buyers are responsible for the purchase of 12 per cent of the new housing supply across the country each year.

This number is even higher in Sydney, where Chinese buyers are responsible for purchasing 18 per cent of the new housing supply.

Whether you're considering investing in Sydney luxury homes, house and land packages or prestige apartments near the CBD, it would seem appealing to Chinese buyers should be a priority for savvy investors in the New South Wales capital.

So just how can you appeal to Chinese property buyers? Buying real estate in communities with high concentrations of Chinese is one option. Suburbs with higher proportion of Chinese buyers include Chatswood, Willoughby, Ryde, Rockdale, Randwick, Hurstville, Parramatta, Ashfield, Burwood, Kogarah, Canterbury and Hornsby.  Chinese buyers will feel a stronger sense of identity and familiarity amongst their fellow kinsman.

However, just like any other proud parents, schooling is a key to this demographic. Chinese home buyers with school-aged children tend to make the preferred school for their child the main consideration in choosing a property, according to some experts. This would help explain the ABS' report that suburbs near universities tend to have a higher proportion of migrants.  Many migrants are also buying established prestige Sydney homes along Sydney's Upper and Lower North Shore and the Eastern Suburbs close to private schools with a solid reputation for excellence.

Chinese buyers also prefer apartment living. Coming from mainland China, the majority of housing is apartments so they feel more comfortable living in high-rise dwellings than on a quarter acre block. They prefer low maintenance, modern facilities like gyms and community rooms and an outdoor balcony space.

However, it's important to consider how other essential amenities, including proximity to transport and shopping, will play a key role in the overall success of your investment.

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