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Singapore 'new biggest investor in Australian property'

Singapore has overtaken China as the country investing most heavily in the Australian property market, a new report reveals.

Real estate agent Cushman and Wakefield has published a new analysis of investment in property down under, which shows that the sum spent by Chinese businessmen in the Australian market has declined by more than two-thirds (69 per cent) so far this year.

This is partly due to newly-introduced restrictions from the Chinese government that are designed to prevent investors from China spending too much in overseas markets.

However, the decline in investment from China is being offset with a significant increase in spending from Singaporean property investors in particular, but thanks to more units being available due to less business from China, people from all over the world now have more of a chance of purchasing real estate in Australia.

One of the biggest investments down under from Singapore so far has been the purchase of the 20 Bond Street site in Sydney. The country has also made significant purchases in London, buying the Leadenhall building - which famously resembles a cheese grater - for £1.5 billion ($1.62 billion).

James Quigley, head of capital markets, Australia and New Zealand at Cushman and Wakefield, commented: "Despite the decline in investment from mainland China, Australian property investment volumes are on track for another robust year supported by investors from Singapore, Hong Kong, the US and Germany, as well as local institutions such as Dexus and Charter Hall."

Overall, the real estate agent expects the total sum to be invested in the Australian property market by overseas businesspeople over the course of this year to come in at around $30 billion, which would be in line with that of previous years, despite the decline in activity from China.

China is still expected to contribute to the total invested down under this year, however, as there are just certain sectors of the property market - such as casinos and those involving defence technology - that China's State Council has warned the nation's businesspeople against spending on.

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