PropTrack Overseas Search Report - January 2024

Karen Dellow
Karen Dellow

Our nation has become more popular than ever with overseas property seekers, with searches for properties to buy or rent hitting a record high in 2023.

Searches for properties to buy were up 23% year-on-year and 30% over the past five years, and rental searches were up 14% year-on-year and 46% compared to December 2022.

The largest increase in searches came from China, with buy searches up by 67.7% compared to December 2022 and rent searches up by 70.4%.

Searches from China dropped significantly at the start of the pandemic as students were sent home and borders were closed.

However, now that the borders are open again and students and workers can come and go freely, interest from China in Australian properties has sky-rocketed.

Searches from the United Kingdom, United States, and New Zealand also increased significantly in 2023.

New Zealand, however, has been the biggest surprise, with searches increasing so much that it is now the number one country for overseas searches.

Searches from our neighbours make up 17% of all buy searches and 15.8% of rent searches.

The ease with which New Zealanders can come to Australia and work makes Australia a prime destination for the Kiwis. Arrivals from New Zealand when the borders re-opened were higher than any other country.

Most searched states

Searches for locations within New South Wales make up a third of all searches from overseas.

Queensland and Victoria have just over a quarter of buy searches each, and most of these searches come from New Zealand and the United States.

Western Australia may not attract the highest number of searches from overseas, but in the past 12 months, overseas searches have increased by 23% — higher than any other state.

Meanwhile, searches for locations in Queensland have increased by 16%.

Most searched locations

Of the top five most searched-for locations from overseas, four are capital cities, with Melbourne coming out on top.

However, the Gold Coast ranks number two on the list and is more popular than Sydney.

Drilling down to a state level, the data becomes more localised, and it is possible to see the suburbs within each city that are most popular with overseas searchers.

Zetland and Surry Hills are the most popular suburbs in Sydney, and in Melbourne, the top suburbs are South Yarra and Carlton.

Most viewed new builds by overseas property seekers

Westside Place in Melbourne ended the year in the top spot for highest property views from overseas, closely followed by 111 Castlereagh in Sydney.

Due to government restrictions, it is harder for non-residents to buy existing properties, so overseas investors tend to target new apartment developments or house and land packages.

111 Castlereagh was most popular with Chinese and American searchers, enticed by Sydney's luxury retail precinct and iconic views.

Wharf Tower, Brisbane, is popular with overseas property seekers. Source:

West Village in Brisbane is surprisingly most popular with the Taiwanese and property seekers from Hong Kong.

Taiwanese property seekers have also been viewing the Queens Wharf Tower in Brisbane, along with New Zealand and Hong Kong seekers.

In the coming year

Last financial year's net migration exceeded 500,000, and despite the Treasury's forecast to reduce the 2024 figure to 315,000, experts expect this target to be beaten by June 2024.

Overseas search trends on continue to align with the arrival of students and migrant workers, and based on these figures, migration is unlikely to slow down in the foreseeable future.

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