South Africans, Russians lead Gold Coast property raids


Russians and South Africans are joining the foreign stampede for property on Queensland's glitter strip, new real estate figures show. Overseas buyers injected $407 million into the state's residential market last financial year, of which 45 per cent was spent on the Gold Coast. While traditional Asian investors still retain a strong presence, figures collated by Colliers International showed South Africans shelled out the most, spending $23.1 million on 65 Gold Coast properties.

"Of the $185.1 million spent, South Africa has taken the lions share," the report said.

"This is the largest amount we have seen South Africans spend on residential property over the 19 years of this research." Ray White Surfers Paradise project marketing director Julian Sutherland said South African migrants were attracted to the sprawling waterfront mansions on the wealthy enclave of Sovereign Islands.

"They ... are looking for lifestyle, which has always been the case due to their unsettled country," Mr Sutherland said.

"And the South Africans like expensive homes for them to reside in." According to Colliers International, Japanese investors, with a total spend of $21.9 million over 27 transactions, were the second force in the market. Investors from the Russian Federation ($20.7 million) and China ($17.2 million) came in third and fourth respectively. However, Mr Sutherland said Chinese investors would soon dominate the Gold Coast market again.

"The Chinese government has recently placed restrictions on the investment market in China so they are looking elsewhere. This will be the greatest market over the next few years," he said. Mr Sutherland sold five Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel and Residences apartments off the plan during a sales mission to Shanghai last week. The Colliers report and recent research by DTZ Queensland both claim Russians are the surprise newcomers in the state's property market. Australian developers have capitalised on Russia's increasing oil and mining wealth, leading roadshows through Moscow, the DTZ report said. The recent collapse of Dubai's property has also sent Russian capital searching for safer markets.

Russians have reportedly bought multi-million dollar homes on Sovereign Islands, and in the Q1 and Circle on Cavill apartment towers. The foreign investor market in Queensland is set to skyrocket further following changes allowing entire new residential projects to be sold to offshore buyers. Foreigners could previously only purchase up to 50 per cent of a new development.

During December and January the Juniper Group reportedly secured seven sales amounting to $10 million at its 77-storey, $850 million Soul development in the heart of Surfers Paradise, to Chinese, Indonesian and New Zealand investors. Australia's Kiwi neighbours have made for the most prolific buyers of residential property on the Gold Coast over the past decade.

Yet the biggest spenders statewide were those from the United Kingdom, who spent more than $68.2 million, the Colliers report showed.

However, the Sunshine Coast was their preferred location, with $14 million spent on 12 owner-occupier dwellings and 18 investment properties.


Article by: www.brisbanetimes.com.au

s