PropTrack Overseas Search Report - April 2023

Karen Dellow
Karen Dellow

Overseas interest in Aussie properties has surged to record levels as migration hits highest point in three years.

Searches from overseas for properties to buy and rent on last quarter reached their highest level since PropTrack records began in 2019.

Rental property searches in the past three months are up 34% on the same period in 2019, and searches to buy properties are up 29%.

Where the demand is coming from

The countries with the highest searches for Aussie properties are New Zealand, The United States, The United Kingdom, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, and India.

New Zealand has held the top spot for the past two years in terms of searches for Australian real estate, with rent searches up 37.5% on this time last year and searches to buy up 8.8%.

Demand from India has increased substantially in the past 12 months, with faster growth in both searches to buy and rent than other countries.

The Chinese government's call for all international students to return to their campuses at the end of January drove a surge in rental searches from China, reaching their highest point in over three years in February.

Arrivals from overseas in line with search activity

The increase in offshore searches for Australian rental properties has coincided with a sharp increase in student arrivals. In February, student arrivals hit 142,000, a 190% increase on February 2022, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Although March's preliminary figure was a third of February's number, it was still over 90% higher than March 2020.

However, Hong Kong appears to be bucking the trend, with searches to rent Australian properties down 27.8% on last year and searches to buy down 15.4%.

Most-searched suburbs

As a whole, overseas searchers, whether looking for properties to rent or buy, favour the major capital cities, with Melbourne and Sydney topping the list.

However, the Gold Coast is also proving popular with overseas buyers and renters.

Breaking down the search data by country, the Gold Coast is favoured most by searchers from New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. However, searchers from China, Hong Kong and India have been most interested in Box Hill and Chatswood.

Most-viewed new developments

Overseas properties seekers have historically favoured new apartment developments in Melbourne and Sydney, followed by the Gold Coast.

However, a new development in Perth, Dianella Apartments has piqued the interest of searchers from New Zealand, the UK, and India. In the past three months, overseas views of this property were seven times higher than the next most-viewed listing, which was 111 Castlereagh in Sydney.

Looking ahead

Searches from overseas property seekers are at an all-time high since PropTrack records began, and this is a positive sign for future migration.

The number of arrivals with student or work visas has not yet reached pre-pandemic heights, but they are likely to return to normal levels in time.

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