Australia’s property sector should get set to woo China

Australia’s property sector should get set to woo China

Posted on Friday, December 07 2012 at 3:03 PM

Can you hear that? It’s a wave of Chinese investors about to inundate the Australian real estate sector with billions of dollars.

Chinese insurance companies have just made
public their long-awaited updated regulations surrounding investment in
overseas assets.

The changes allow the country’s insurers to
significantly expand their offshore holdings, and Australia is set to benefit.

Under the new rules, Chinese insurers can
invest up to 15 per cent of their total assets in overseas investments. It’s
been estimated that such companies had the equivalent of more than $900 billion
(Australian dollars) in assets.

Sian Sinclair, head of real estate and
construction for Grant Thornton Australia, believes the opportunity should be
carefully nurtured.

There’ll be tough competition, with the
relaxed regulations opening investment to 45 world markets in a range of asset

“The key will be actively marketing to
these investor groups as we’re competing with strong markets including the UK, US and
so on,” Sinclair explains. “They’re already vying for Chinese investment
dollars. We’re working closely with our China firm to identify opportunities.”

The form of direct investments allowed in real estate
remains restricted to mature commercial and office property with stable income
located in ‘core areas’.

According to Sinclair, Australia can expect to see
increased interest from China investors in established commercial sites in our
larger capital cities.

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