Interest from overseas property seekers surged as migration had returned to pre-pandemic levels, PropTrack has reported.
The PropTrack Overseas Search Report in October revealed that searches from abroad had continued to increase since the last report in July, with buy searches up by 11.5% in the past three months and rent searches up by 7.8%.
Karen Dellow (pictured above), PropTrack senior data analyst, said both buy and rent enquiries have surpassed pre-pandemic levels and are expected to keep increasing due to the resurgence of migration to previous levels.
A quarter of overseas buy and rent searches originated from New Zealand, with interest from this neighbouring nation steadily growing each month. Rent searches from across the Tasman have surged by 38% compared to last year, while buy searches have also increased by 7%.
Interest from China took a hit in 2020, plunging 53% in the year up to September 2020. However, searches for properties to purchase in March jumped and have now bounced back to pre-pandemic levels. Rental searches from China tell a similar story, with volumes nearly doubling compared to the levels observed prior to the pandemic.
“This increase is primarily driven by the return of students and migrant workers to our shores,” Dellow said.
In July 2023, the number of arrivals from migrant workers and students reached the highest level since January 2020, with an average of 265,000 new arrivals each month over the past six months.
“Rental searches in particular are a leading indicator of overseas migration and have mirrored the trend of permanent and student arrivals to Australia, illustrating new arrivals’ relationship with the rental market,” Dellow said.
In early 2022, when Australia reopened its international borders, both the number of overseas arrivals and search volumes began to increase month by month.
Recent ABS data indicated that reopening the borders had a substantial impact on the population.
In 2022, Australia’s population grew 1.9%, an increase of 496,800 people over the 12 months, which was the largest increase in 15 years. Around 78% of the increase resulted from overseas migration, most of which were overseas students.
When comparing the population increase to the rise in rental searches during the same period, the data revealed a substantial surge in interest from overseas searchers.
Hotspots for overseas property seekers
Melbourne has been the most searched location on realestate.com.au over the past six months, which Dellow said was hardly surprising given its popularity among migrants and its status as a significant center for commerce and education.
Overseas buyers have also shown a strong demand for the Gold Coast, attracted by its sandy beaches and year-round sunshine, PropTrack reported.
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