It’s no secret that Chinese, Malaysian and Indonesian buyers remain attracted the Australian property market because of our stable government, world-renowned schools, and lifestyle. For some it also presents the opportunity to grow businesses. These fundamentals remain despite the challenges imposed this year by greater financing restrictions and increased taxes for foreign buyers of property.
With 2017 fast approaching, the new year is a time to reflect. What worked, what didn’t and what to prioritise to ensure a successful year ahead. As a developer or project marketer you’re probably considering waiting until Q1 of 2017 to launch your new projects to offshore channels and buyers. Now is not the time to wait though. If you’re looking to tap into the huge Asian buyer market, the time to formulate relationships, educate and condition the market is now. Get in before the Christmas/New Year break and here are just some of the reasons why:
1. The Asian market doesn’t sleep over the Christmas break
Unlike in Australia and most of the world, there are no official holidays for Christmas in China. This means the Asian buyer market is alive and kicking during December and January. Friends, family and colleagues discussing what and where to buy property is how interest is generated. You want your brand and projects to be exposed to the market so being part of those conversations, is essential in the lead up to Chinese New Year.
Our General Manager Asia, Karen Chau, says “The contrast between the Australian and Chinese property marketplaces at this time of year is dramatic; in Australia we are used to winding down from mid-December, with many people on holiday for most of January. Here in Shanghai and Beijing, it’s the opposite. Our team is flat out keeping up with the level of enquiry we have from our Network Partners seeking new properties to fill their clients’ briefs”
2. The numbers are on your side
Whilst we see increasing enquiry from Malaysian and Indonesian buyers, Chinese buyers are still the leaders in the purchase of international property. According to FIRB, the value of approvals for foreign investment in Australian real estate increased 75 per cent last financial year to $61 billion. With Chinese accounting for around two-thirds of applications, exposure to these cashed-up buyers is critical. If you’re considering delaying a project’s launch to China until February or March 2017, why risk missing out on potential buyers who have committed to projects they’ve already been shown? This side of Christmas and January, due to less competition, the numbers are still likely to be on your side.
3. Capitalise on an earlier Chinese New Year
This year marks the earliest Chinese New Year for the past five years, on January 28th, 2017.
For the Chinese, the New Year is the most important annually recurring festival for people of Chinese ancestry all over the world. It’s been celebrated for 1,000 years and the traditions involved are deeply ingrained in Chinese culture. For many, it’s a religious holiday full of prayers, offerings and other acts of devotion. Real estate purchases are also top of mind for many people seeking new homes, fresh starts or investments. Given so many Chinese make purchase decisions during this time, it’s known as ‘Golden Week’ by property professionals.
The months leading up to the Chinese holiday are an extremely busy time for Chinese brokers, who are trying to educate their clients and close deals before the break. However, after the holidays usually comes chaos from the buying side and many projects are vying for a piece of that action. So, the earlier your project can engage the end buyers, the better your chances are at closing deals.
4. The year of the rooster
2017 marks the year of the rooster in China. The Rooster is said to be the most motivated animal in the Chinese zodiac, looking to make advancements in life, both personal and professional.
Historically, the Rooster is also the epitome of loyalty and punctuality. For ancestors who had no alarm clocks, the crowing was significant as it could awaken people to get up and start to work – symbolic of developers who may need a jump start in launching their project and generating success with Asian buyers.