Interesting piece by Stephen Nicholls in the Age (Chinese prefer Melbourne to Sydney) that illustrates two aspects of Australian life, Chinese investment in Australian residential property playing out in the traditional rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney.
A survey of Chinese interest in investment in international property ranks Australia as number two after the US. That's actually remarkable in its own right. However, what attracted special interest was the apparent ranking of Melbourne in front of Sydney as favoured investment location. The photo from the Age shows a Toorak house purchased by a Chinese investor for $14 million.
Sydney people were not impressed. I quote from the story:
Sydney property agents expressed shock, then disbelief that Chinese buyers appeared to be more interested in Melbourne than Sydney.
"Melbourne's a great place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there and I think the Chinese feel the same way, said Richardson & Wrench Mosman principal Stephen Patrick. "Most of the Chinese want a water view and Sydney obviously wins there."
I am not in a position to comment on the relative attractiveness of the two cities beyond a wry smile. I can comment on Chinese interest in the area in which I currently live in Sydney. It's high and has been so for a long time. The driver here is the presence of the University of New South Wales with its large Chinese student cohort. This creates both rental and home purchase demand, for many parents buy a place for their children and as a longer term investment.
We are not talking top tier demand prepared to pay multi-millions for specific locations, rather mid tier demand in a price range from $A750,000 to $A1,500,000. The effects are quite noticeable. This is not a complaint, simply an observation.