How Sydney real estate became a victim of its own success


With many wealthy Asians choosing to send their kids to Australian universities, Sydney is witnessing an upsurge in buyers that it might not be ready for

Advance Australia fair
A blurred future for Sydney’s property market?

By Stuart Farquhar

This is the final part of our ultimate guide in global property investment in 2016. Read the previous instalment here.

Over on the other side of the world, Australia could soon see a surge of property investment from Asia that it isn’t even ready for, says’s Simon Henry.

“Keen, moneyed-up investors want high quality properties in Sydney, which will generate both a good return and gain in value,” he says. “The current level of Chinese investment in Australia may seem quaintly small in a few years.”

For Henry, some of that draw comes from education. “Parents buy to ensure their kids have somewhere to stay when studying for an Australian degree,” he says.

However, Sydney could be becoming a victim of its own success, according to’s data. While the city’s premium market – properties in the USD5 million-plus bracket – began the year with more interest from viewers on, the website has recorded an astonishing 700 percent growth in interest in Melbourne’s premium market.

More: How to find a bargain in Sydney’s softening market

Regardless of where high-net-worth Asian buyers choose to invest in property, one thing is for sure – wherever they choose, they are guaranteed a warm welcome. While buying in foreign markets may offer certain advantages and securities to the buyer, it’s definitely a symbiotic relationship, insists’s Simon Henry, citing the popularity of the Australian market among Chinese buyers.

“Chinese international real estate investment has great benefits and has led to new housing supply, construction jobs, gross domestic product (GDP) and government revenue in all countries that are most popular with Chinese buyers,” he says.

“A study for the government of Australia found that every additional dollar of construction enabled by Chinese investors about adds USD0.47 to GDP. Australia is a good example of a country whose entire economy at the moment really comes down to Chinese real-estate investment. Offshore investment is funding new development in the real estate sector, and real estate is the only sector pushing employment and GDP growth,” he adds.

Reside in Sydney

Omnia, Potts Point

Omnia, Potts Point
Developer: Greenland
Completion: 2018
Price: USD530,000-8 million
Size: 19 stories, 135 units
X-factor: Within walking distance of Sydney’s central business district, some of the city’s finest bars and restaurants, the iconic Sydney Harbour and Royal Botanic Gardens, Chinese developer Greenland’s Omnia tower will offer a selection of high-end luxury one, two and three-bedroom apartments and four penthouses – one of which sold for USD8 million on launch day in November 2015. The development will feature a residents’ wine room and lounge, community gardens and – this being Australia – barbecue areas.

Crown Ashfield

Developer: Crown Group Australia
Completion: Mid-2016
Price: AUD760,000-1.61 million (USD543,000-1.15 million)
Size: One-bedroom plus study, two-bedroom, three- bedroom, penthouse
X-factor: Located in Sydney’s trendy inner west area, Oasis by Crown Group is only 20 minutes away from the city’s core CBD and surrounded by prestigious educational institutions that attract Asian students, such as Ashfield Boy’s High School, Rosebank College, the University of Sydney and the University of Technology Sydney.

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  • Paul Gambles

    Wow! The projects look absolutely stunning but also for quite some time already, Asian investors have represented the final distorted stage of one of the greatest property bubbles mankind has ever seen. How much longer that bubble lasts really depends on how dire the situation gets in China but mired in debt deflation the danger is that real price adjustments of >50% will also translate to nominal falls of >50%.