International Property

International Property

Australia’s most expensive home pitched to Chinese buyers

Sydney harbourfront mansion listed at A$80 million

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 April, 2016, 2:55pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 April, 2016, 11:44am

China’s property buying spree in Australia does not appear to be slowing, with the selling agent for a Sydney harbourfront property touted as Australia’s most expensive house targeting ultra-rich Chinese and said to be in serious talks with several potential buyers.

A new campaign with a strong focus on China was launched in February to interest foreign investors looking for high-end properties in Elaine Gardens, a grand waterfront mansion sitting on 6,986 square metres of land at Point Piper. The price tag is A$80 million (HK$475.8 million).

The seller was currently in serious negotiations with several Chinese buyers, Ken Jacobs, the selling agent and Australian head of Christie’s International Real Estate, said last week.

The Chinese are admirers of great property no matter where they are located
Ken Jacobs, Christie’s International Real Estate

Though China was not the only focus, Jacobs said there had been strong inquiries and inspections from China throughout the campaign.

“The Chinese are admirers of great property no matter where they are located,” he said. “They are a very engaged, astute and active buyer group.”

The sales campaign was produced both in English and Chinese, to ensure engagement with one of Australia’s most active offshore buyer markets.

China has continued to be the largest foreign investor in the property market in Australia. According to the annual report of Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), Chinese investment in Australian real estate doubled in the financial year to the end of June last year to more than A$24 billion, three times the amount invested by the second-largest investor, the United States.

Australia’s current price record for residential real estate stands at A$70 million, set in mid-2015 for a Sydney mansion bought by Australian-Chinese billionaire businessman Chau Chak Wing, who chairs the Kinggold Group, a Guangdong-based property developer.

Cash-rich Chinese have frequently entered Australia’s luxury property market in recent years. In the latest example, a 24-year-old Chinese forked out A$8 million for a luxury harbourside apartment at Point Piper last month.

The heritage-listed Elaine Gardens, which has been owned by the Fairfax media family since 1891, has failed to sell in the past few years.

It was not eligible for purchase by foreign non-residents until it received local government approval for partial redevelopment in December. The FIRB heavily regulates the sale of established homes to non-residents.

Jacobs said he was confident Elaine Gardens would sell as the past uncertainty had been removed. The estate has being quoted at around A$75 million to A$80 million and, while Jacobs would not comment on the level of the current price negotiations, he said that figure appeared to be “most achievable”.

Andrew McCasker, Asia head of property South and Southeast Asia at National Australia Bank, said he expected home prices in hot cities such as Sydney and Melbourne would continue to rise this year due to increasing demand from both local and overseas buyers.