Mainland developer Greenland Holding has sold about A$275 million (HK$1.9 billion) of apartments at its first Australian project as buyers snapped up almost all of the units offered.
The state-owned developer sold 241 of the 250 apartments released in the first stage of Greenland Centre, the 66-floor central Sydney tower expected to be the tallest in the city, said David Milton, managing director for residential projects at selling agent CBRE. The most expensive was a three-bedroom unit on the 55th floor, which went for A$3.7 million to a Chinese buyer living in Australia, he said.
"We had enormous interest, about 4,000 in the four to five weeks leading up to it," Milton said. "This has been one of the most highly anticipated projects, with one of the highest levels of inquiries that we've had."
Greenland has invested more than A$1 billion on sites in Sydney and Melbourne. The company has joined other mainland developers in moving overseas as the central government maintains curbs to cool the housing market at home.
The expansion of mainland companies abroad follows an "explosion" in Chinese individual purchases of luxury Western products, overseas holidays and homes, according to an August report by broker Savills.
"This, combined with increasing competition in the domestic property market and the weakness of overseas markets, has presented good opportunities for China to acquire land, resources, companies, brands and real estate," James MacDonald, associate director for China research, wrote in the report. The mainland and Hong Kong together were the second-largest source of investment in overseas markets between 2008 and 2011, accounting for US$146 billion, second only to the United States, he said.
Greenland is emerging as one of the largest mainland investors in the US. In October it signed a memorandum of understanding to buy a 70 per cent share of Brooklyn's US$5 billion Atlantic Yards project.