Investors pan for gold as Japan recoups loss

ALTHOUGH Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast is among Australian properties likely to be shed from the troubled EIE portfolio (controlled by the Long Term Credit Bank), it is still business as usual for the resort's sales office.

Buyers from around the world purchased a total of 56 residential homes and land entitlements in the luxury haven during the 12 months to May 31.

Hong Kong buyers purchased two waterfront homes and one property with a golf course frontage for prices ranging from A$460,000 (about HK$2.57 million) to $830,000 (HK$4.64 million).

Overall sales totalled more than $32.4 million for the properties which enjoy integrated Tourist Resort status.

This allows investors to buy and sell residential property within the resort without prior government approval.

Other international markets include Singapore (5.3 per cent of residential property purchases in the 12 months), Japan (3.5 per cent), Germany (3.5 per cent) and Malaysia (1.7 per cent).

Australians accounted for 80.2 per cent of the market with buyers from Queensland (53.5 per cent), Victoria (10.7 per cent), New South Wales (10.7 per cent) and South Australia (5.3 per cent).

Overall, 38 per cent of Sanctuary Cove home owners are internationals. The majority are Asian. Sales for the 1995 calendar year so far total $14,594,160.

Sanctuary Cove and Bond University are just two Gold Coast properties likely to go on the market as Japanese move to divest themselves of unwanted investments. With the spending spree of the 1980s in the past, analysts note that the Japanese will sell to cut their losses.

The yen's rise of about 40 per cent against the Australian dollar and the property market crash in the early 1990s burned many big-spending Japanese investors.

It is estimated that the Japanese spent $4.2 billion on Australian properties in the past seven years.

The total value of Japanese-owned hotels in Australia is about $2.5 billion. Most of the sites are in northern Queensland and Sydney.