This is why Australian expats are now turning to buyer’s agents
Rising market sees return of expat buyers
There has been a recent increase in the number of Australian expats engaging the services of a buyer’s agent, according to Pete Wargent, co-founder of Australia’s first national property buyer’s agency network, BuyersBuyers.
Mr Wargent said that “in keeping with historic trends I’d estimate that over 80 per cent of the expatriate demand has been centred on Australia’s most expensive housing markets to date, being Sydney and Melbourne, though many offshore buyers are interested in south-east Queensland and other parts of Australia too”.
“A primary driver of this has simply been the rebound in housing prices which began to rise again towards the end of 2020, leading expats to fearing losing the opportunity to gain a foothold in the Australian housing market” Mr Wargent said.
Figure 1 – Home values since 2019 election
While both Sydney and Melbourne have been top performers, housing prices have increased across the whole country in 2021, underscoring the fear of missing out from buyers currently based overseas.
At the same time, it has become impossible for most expats to travel in and out of the country due to the prevailing travel restrictions.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, nearly 500,000 Australians have returned home according to Advance.org estimates, representing close to half of the expat community.
Mr Wargent of BuyersBuyers said that despite a moderate recent increase, total arrivals into Australia are only a fraction of the usual numbers.
Figure 2 – Total arrivals into Australia (month)
“As such, unless expats want to buy sight unseen, which is risky, there has been a growing demand to professional assistance” Mr Wargent said.
A dearth of stock
A third factor has been the unusual nature of the property market in 2021, with property listings more than 25 per cent below what might be expected for this time of year.
Again, this is not a trend that’s restricted to one capital city or territory – the dearth of stock and new listings has been a feature of markets all around the country.
Figure 3 – Total capital city property listings
Considerations for expats
Typically expat buyers need to factor in financing arrangements currency movements, and any tax implications of being overseas.
Meanwhile recent developments in Hong Kong have shown political factors can also play a role in the future plans of expats.
Mr Wargent of BuyersBuyers said that “while many expats live in units and higher-density developments in Asia or in other parts of the world, this is not the property type in favour by buyers in Australia at the present time, with a ‘race for space’ seeing housing market demand shift towards detached houses”.
“While Australia is generally seen to be an expensive country, many expats are based in some of the world’s most expensive cities for real estate, such as New York, London, Singapore, or Hong Kong”.
“As such, expats with an open mind can buy a detached house in parts of Australia for the equivalent price of a unit or flat in their current location” Mr Wargent said.
“Expats needto factor in all of their own personal reasons for buying – whether they are buying a block of land where they can build their forever home in the future, to gain a toehold in the Australian market, or purely as an investment play”.
“In all cases, engaging a trusted and experienced buyer’s agent can provide piece of mind, saving expat buyers time, cost, and stress, while the professional due diligence significantly reduces the risk in the transaction” Mr Wargent said.
For all media enquiries, contact BuyersBuyers.com.au Media Manager Alison Sollory, firstname.lastname@example.org
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