A report released by the real estate company Aussiehome has said that close to 80% of Chinese investors can't settle on the apartments that they have purchased off the plan.
The property expert also found that most wish that they could walk away from the contracts.
The co-director of the company, Li Ming, told The Australian newspaper that 'the off-the-plan apartments market is now the worst I have seen in the last 10 years.'
There has been a significant shift in enquiries from off the plan apartments to houses and land - which have seen a 30% rise in the past six months. The reason for the change is said to be the extended waiting times on off the plan – which can be up to three years. The transaction time on a house with land typically completes within the year.
Esther Yong, the director of ACA Property, also attributed another reason for people taking an interested in houses over apartments – that owning land is sexier than owning air.
The motivations for turning to houses are not purely domestic. Chinese policy is tightening its restrictions on using money for overseas investments. This is making investors nervous about the long waiting periods on off the plan property.
Li Ming was steadfast in the belief that the Chinese are still keen to invest in Australian property rather than their native country, saying: "Chinese investors still believe that Melbourne properties are worth buying compared with Beijing and Shanghai if they can get their money out of China."
But the areas which they are willing to invest in are changing. They are progressively seeking less high-profile areas in the suburbs and also increasing their interest in less traditionally Chinese areas.