Barbarians at the gate?

How do the wallets of China's new wave of property investors stack up against real estate investment inflows from other countries?

Much ink has been spilled on the so-called Chinese “invasion” of Australia’s property sector. Here, Business Spectator puts many of the media reports to our myth-buster test.

The first question: is China the largest investor in real estate in this country? The answer is yes, and no. China was the largest investor in Australian property between 2012 and 2013, according to the latest Foreign Investment Review Board report.

However, if you take a longer perspective, looking over last four years, the US was in fact the largest investor in real estate in Australia  ($19.3 billion) over that time, with China the runner-up ($16.2 billion). Britain was the third largest investor at $12.3 billion.


Graph for Barbarians at the gate?

The second question is whether China accounts for a disproportionate percentage of total foreign investment in the real estate sector in Australia.

Business Spectator looks at the data from last year, when China was the largest investor in real estate in Australia for the first time, surpassing both Canada and the US. At $5.9 billion, Chinese investment account for 19 per cent of total foreign investment.


Graph for Barbarians at the gate?

However, what is undisputed is that the Chinese appetite for Australian real estate is growing fast while other foreign investors, like Americans, British and Singaporeans, are losing interest in Australian property.


Graph for Barbarians at the gate?

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