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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Growing demand for Aussie homes

PETALING JAYA: Australian properties have always attracted a sizeable number of Malaysian investors and the reasons are obvious.

The country’s close proximity to Malaysia, strong economy, political stability and the number of Malaysians studying Down Under make it probably one of the most favoured destinations for many locals – for a long or short stay.

A property analyst from Australia said these factors aside, one of the main reasons for Malaysians (with permanent resident status) buying Australian properties had been the steady property capital appreciation over the past decade or so with impressive double-digit capital growth per annum posted in all states.

He said even with the global economic downturn, the Australian economy remained robust, thanks mainly to the Government’s A$42bil stimulus package.

The analyst said on record, Australia was the only developed country in the world that did not experience a recesssion.

One of the measures taken by the Australian Government was to allocate A$6.4bil for the housing sector to help Australians own their homes.

And this is where many property developers, real estate agents and those related to the construction industry, as well as ordinary Australians and those with permanent residence, have benefited significantly during the economic downturn.

In fact, in recent times, a number of Australian companies have found it lucrative to market their properties in Malaysia.

One such company is Shac live + invest, which had a two-day launch and exhibition of three of its properties in Kuala Lumpur during the weekend.

Deniz Sivasli... ‘The uptake of Australian properties has been phenomenal.’

Shac managing director Deniz Sivasli said the company had conducted several launches and exhibitions here since 2007 and found Malaysian property investors very receptive.

“Property sales here have been very encouraging, which is why we are back again to promote the balance of our unsold units in three of the projects, which are located in prime locations in Melbourne,” he said.

The three projects are the Grantham Melbourne in Brunswick (about 20 unsold units), High Apartments in Prahran (three units) and EDGE Sandringham (18 units).

All the units are fully furnished and are going from A$179,000 to A$369,000 each. Shac’s marketing agent in Malaysia is AP Properties Sdn Bhd.
Sivasli said the uptake of its properties had been phenomenal, especially since the Government’s initiative to increase the grant for first-home owners.

“In Victoria, first-home owners can expect to receive A$32,000 from the Government for the purchase of their first house, provided they meet all the criteria and sign the sale and purchase agreement by Sept 30,” he said.

It is understood that after the date the full grant will not be available.

“We know there are a number of Malaysians with permanent Australian resident status who are eligible for the grant and have not purchased property in Australia,” he noted.

Sivasli said most first-home buyers were either young Australians, retired singles or new migrants/permanent residents, who wanted a place near the city.

On the yield, he said generally Australian properties had a yield of 3.5% to 4.5% per annum, depending on location but, based on track record, the properties sold under Shac had annual yields of around 6.6%.

He also said Australian properties would generally double in value in seven to eight years.

“Shac is able to get better than average yield because our company is a boutique property developer and we build customised properties in selected areas within the city after an in-depth study on the needs of a particular community and its disposable income,” he said.

On the impact of the stronger Australian dollar in recent months (A$1=RM3.01 as at Sept 25), he said it would have an impact on sales but potential first-time home owners should think long term and also factor in the grant.

They needed to deposit only 10% of the purchase price and 80% financing from Australian banks was available, he said.

“We even brought our bankers to the exhibition to make financing easier for our potential customers.”

Ian Chen... ‘Houses and apartments in Victoria are much sought after by Malaysians.’

Jalin Realty International Pte Ltd chief executive officer Ian Chen said Australian properties were much sought after by Malaysian and Singaporean investors.

“We have been marketing Australian prime properties for several years and the market is definitely good,” he said, adding that many Asians, including Malaysians, were familiar with Australia and its lifestyle.

Jalin Realty is a real estate and marketing agent for Australian property developers that offer luxury and top-of-the-range properties to high-end net worth individuals.

Chen said houses and apartments in Victoria, especially in the city of Melbourne and suburbs, were much sought after, especially by Malaysians.

“The auction ratings for homes in Victoria are about highest among all the states,” he said.

On the impact of the strong Australian dollar, he said many of Jalin Realty’s customers were very affluent.

“The cost of the property is not the first priority to most of our customers. Often it is whether they like the property and its location. These factors count a lot more to them.”

Besides properties in Victoria, the company also markets prime properties in the Gold Coast.

Figures from the Housing Industry Association, released on Sept 24, showed new-home sales nationally increased by 11.8% in August – the best monthly result in over 3½ years.

By The Star (by Danny Yap)

1 comment:

jeffrey leong said...

make sure you are fully informed when you purchase brand new apartments in Australia. I would say stay away from Student Accomodations. i am a real estate agent in Melbourne, heard too many sad stories from overseas investors.