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Chinese investors to 'wait and see' over Aussie property

At one point last year, it was believed the demand for Australian residential property was so strong in China that buyers from the Far East nation accounted for a staggering 20 per cent of all purchases of new homes. 

However, there have been fears in recent times that one of the biggest groups of investors have started to turn away from the nation. According to experts, this is not the case. Savills and JLL in Hong Kong said that the Chinese buyers who were so prominent in the market in recent times are still there, but are just waiting for the right time to buy. 

Conditions both at home in Australia are influencing this newfound wait-and-see attitude among Chinese buyers, with changes and slowdown in the Chinese economy, Beijing's tough stance on corruption and capital control among just a few of the issues that has slowed their rate of purchase. 

A shortage of cheap deals as Aussie property becomes more expensive than ever has also put off a number of Chinese buyers, who are now laying in wait for their next chance to put money into property market. 

"They are taking stock but they are not putting the brakes on. It is simply a deferral – a "wait and see"," Savills Hong Kong's senior director Simon Smith said. 

"It's not a long-term trend. They certainly grabbed the opportunities when they were there, but there are limits." 

It's been a year now since China took over from the US as the biggest spender in the Aussie property market, and while it has fallen away a little this year, seeing Singapore become one of the biggest spenders in its stead, JLL Hong Kong's head of research Denis Ma said that there is historic evidence that shows this is not the end of the story for Chinese buyers. 

"When Hong Kong imposed a 15 per cent transaction tax on foreign investments, it did not deter the Chinese. You still see them in the market," he

said, adding that Chinese buyers are likely to remain among the biggest spenders in Australia. 

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