COVID-19 keeps on giving in the property market as the return of cashed-up expats is adding to sky-high property sales across the nation, according to the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA).
Hundreds of thousands of people have returned to Australia over the past year, with many of them coming from cities that have more expensive property markets.
PIPA chairman Peter Koulizos said expats were returning home en-masse with plenty of real estate dollars behind them, often in stronger currencies than the Australian dollar, which supercharges their buying power even more.
“Expats from expensive cities like London, Hong Kong and New York often don’t consider our real estate prices unaffordable and are happy to pay what is necessary to secure a prestigious property in a desirable location,” he said.
“Our members report that some of the sale prices being achieved in Sydney, for example, seem insane – even in booming market conditions – with new money or the expat factor the likely reason.
“Indeed, some properties are selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars more than what anyone – including experts – had predicted, which is leaving sellers very happy, but many buyers and property investment professionals scratching their heads somewhat.”
Bellarine Property director Levi Turner said that this is definitely a factor hey have experienced in the Barwon Heads market.
“We have had several significant sales in Barwon Heads as a direct result of expat repatriation due to COVID-19,” Mr Turner said
“They are ready to go with premium properties on the top of their list.
“There is no mucking around with these buyers, they definitely know what they are trying to find.
“We would expect this ‘Expat Factor’ to continue to contribute to the strong demand for real estate in the Bellarine for some time yet.”
Other locations, including Brisbane, Adelaide and regional areas are also securing record sale prices due to “new money” coming from more expensive interstate locations.
According to CoreLogic’s March National Home Value Index it is the premium end of the market that is leading the acceleration in the rate of capital gains at present.
Across the combined capitals, the upper quartile of the market recorded a 3.7 per cent lift in values in March, according to CoreLogic.
The report found in Melbourne the upper quartile increase of 2.8 per cent outpaced the lower quartile at 1.6 per cent, while Brisbane’s upper quartile index rose 3.1 per cent – nearly triple the rate of lower quartile values at 1.1 per cent.