Australia was one of three countries highlighted as having good growth prospects at a meeting of property experts from around the world recently.
Christie’s agent Ken Jacobs has just returned from three weeks of meetings in Spain and the US and said that the consensus was that confidence was returning and that property investors were looking for new markets to spend their money.
“Stuart Schweitzer, vice chairman, global markets strategist for J.P. Morgan, commented on the extraordinary high number of clients with significant cash reserves looking for ways to deploy their funds,” Mr Jacobs said.
“Mr Schweitzer focused on Australia, Brazil and Mexico as being good growth areas.”
Mr Jacobs said that the growing positive sentiment was echoed by top-end real estate agents in Beverly Hills, New York, Sydney, London and Switzerland.
“The consensus is that whilst no one is predicting a boom, the world recovering, with a few exceptions, is under way with confidence returning to markets,” he said.
Mr Jacobs said that the feedback from all major international markets was that buyers from China would play an increasing role.
“We are currently witnessing increased activity of Chinese buyers in Sydney brought about by the introduction of the Significant Investor Visa,” Mr Jacobs said.
The Australian affiliate of Christie’s International was the first agent to detect the impact the new visa – introduced on November 24 – was having in Australia. But he says there’s another reason for the growing level of interest from Hong Kong.
“Compounding this is the fact that the Chinese government has doubled the sales tax on Hong Kong property costing more than $HK2 million [about $A250,000] and targeted commercial real estate for the first time as risks of a bubble in the Hong Kong property market spread from apartments to parking spaces, shops and hotels,” Mr Jacobs says.
Hong Kong stamp duty will increase to 8.5 per cent of the purchase price for all properties.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority also tightened mortgage terms for commercial properties and parking spaces. This is encouraging more Chinese investors to look beyond China.
Mr Jacobs has welcomed two new partners – Rob Jeffress and Darren Curtis – into his agency. Mr Jeffress’ background includes the ownership of Knight Frank Residential in NSW and many years as managing director of Media Monitors. Darren Curtis has previously spent six years specialising in the Central London prestige market of Notting Hill, Holland Park and Kensington.
Reflecting the increasing interest of foreign buyers, Mr Jacobs has also accepted a role with the small international steering committee that will co-ordinate and personally refer properties of international appeal to private clients of Christie’s network around the world.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.