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How will China's new rules on overseas spending affect Australian property?

Chinese officials have introduced new rules relating to investment in overseas assets by the country's businesspeople, partly to curb spending on property in Australia, which is one of their preferred markets.

China's State Council has ruled that spending on property abroad should be restricted in the future, while investing in casinos or defence technology overseas will be banned.

However, Chinese investors bought more than one-third (38 per cent) of residential properties in Australia last year, according to statistics from Knight Frank, so concerns have been raised about the effect this will have on the market down under.

Yet a significant reduction in activity from China could open up the Australian property market to investors from other international countries, who would face less competition when registering their interest in developments.

The Knight Frank data shows that Chinese investors spent a total of $2.4 billion on properties down under last year, so the new restrictions from Beijing could open up billions of pounds worth of investment opportunities to businesspeople from elsewhere.

Indeed, statistics already show a decline in investment from China in Australia during the first seven months of 2017, during which time the number of deals from the Asian superpower fell by almost half (44 per cent).

Although this has raised some concerns across the property market, it has meant investors from other economies have had greater opportunity to invest in Australia.

Speaking to, Mark Wizel, national director of retail investments at the CBRE Group, explained: "Fifteen groups had planned to come to Melbourne from China in September; potentially, we won't see those groups anymore, but I don't think it will affect existing groups who already have their flag pole in Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Sydney, because they're business as usual.

"We may not see that continued accelerating growth, but that's not to say that we won't continue to see activity."

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