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Next-gen Chinese buyers making their mark

Young local Chinese buyers snapping up family homes in many Melbourne suburbs

While the international Chinese buyer market has slowed to a trickle, another segment has emerged in increasing numbers.

More local Chinese buyers - often young families and professionals – are now active throughout the city, according to Barry Plant agents.

While focused mainly on drawcard suburbs such as Glen Waverley, Doncaster, Box Hill and Balwyn, they have also been snapping up homes in Templestowe, Donvale, Point Cook, Wantirna South, Wheelers Hill, Blackburn and Bundoora.

“With international borders closed due to the pandemic, there are fewer buyers from China,” Barry Plant Manningham director Mark Di Giulio said. “However, we are seeing the next generation Chinese buyers, often with parents helping their adult children buy property.”

Mr Di Guilio recently auctioned 99 The Grange, Templestowe that was sold to a young Chinese couple who paid $1.9 million or $200,000 beyond the vendor’s reserve.

“Buyer demographics have changed with fewer international buyers from China because of restrictions and tighter bank loan conditions,” Lisa Yeung, an international buyer specialist with Barry Plant Doncaster East, said. “There are still foreign buyers but the children who came earlier with their parents from China have grown up and are now buying their own homes.”

Suburbs in the Manningham area, Ms Yeung noted, that feature quality schools are popular with these buyers who place a premium on education.

Similar buyers are also making their mark in Melbourne’s northeast, Barry Plant Bundoora auctioneer Shaun Zhang said. “2017-2018 peaked with international Chinese buyers here but now younger local Chinese families are moving into Bundoora,” Mr Zhang added. “They have either grown up here after coming over as permanent residents with their parents or have moved here as foreign students.”

These buyers, he noted, were drawn by the proximity to LaTrobe and RMIT university campuses, quality schools and affordable prices.

Bundoora also has pockets of large four- and five-bedroom houses that attract Chinese buyers with multi-generational family setups.

In the southwestern coastal suburb of Point Cook, local Chinese buyers make up 10-15 per cent of homebuyers, Barry Plant Point Cook partner Ray Harb said. “Point Cook is very multicultural and is popular with Chinese owner-occupiers and investors, who recommend family and friends to come here,” Mr Harb added. “It is not just a very large suburb but it also has a community focus, schools and Asian supermarkets.”

In outer-east suburbs such as Wantirna South, Wantirna and nearby areas, young Asian families are a major factor in a market of very strong demand and limited supply.

“They are permanent residents and citizens looking for homes near good schools and infrastructure,” Barry Plant Wantirna auctioneer Brett Smith said. “They want to be near family and friends and this is boosting the market.”