PropTrack Overseas Search Report - May 2024

Karen Dellow
Karen Dellow

Overseas search volumes fluctuate with seasonal trends but continue to surpass previous years.

In April, searches from overseas for properties to buy on remained robust, exhibiting a year-on-year increase of 0.8%.

Notably, the rental market typically peaks in January before tapering off in the subsequent months, a trend mirrored in overseas interest for rental properties.

While this trend has continued into 2024, overseas rental searches have pulled back slightly from the elevated levels seen last year, and as of April were sitting 2.3% lower than the same time a year ago.

It's worth noting rental search volumes still remain elevated compared to the preceding four years, as shown in the chart below.

April witnessed a slowdown in searches from the seven major countries, with all but the United Kingdom displaying reduced interest in property purchases.

Conversely, China, New Zealand, and the UK were the sole countries experiencing growth in rental property searches.

Australia remains popular with property seekers from China, The UK, and New Zealand. Image: Getty.


Changes in student visa regulations are curtailing the influx of new arrivals

Recent governmental mandates concerning students and educational institutions have led to a decline in visas granted to overseas students intending to study in Australia.

In March 2024, there were 44,580 international student arrivals, a decrease of 9,060 students compared to the preceding year.

Given the correlation between issued student and work visas and the volume of rental searches on, both are anticipated to decline proportionally due to these policy changes.

Leading states and locales for overseas property seekers vary based on their rental or purchasing intentions

Prospective renters predominantly concentrate their searches in NSW and VIC, likely influenced by Melbourne and Sydney serving as primary arrival points for international flights, as well as the volume of businesses and universities located in these cities.

Conversely, QLD, particularly the allure of the Gold Coast, entices potential buyers, making it the top destination.

VIC emerges as the second most sought-after state for buyers.

The scenic beaches and perpetually sunny climate of the Gold Coast continue to captivate overseas property seekers, ranking as the most searched-for location for buyers and the third for renters.

The Gold Coast is in high-demand amongst overseas buyers and renters. Image: Getty.

Brisbane and Perth also enjoy popularity among both buyers and renters from overseas.

In terms of specific suburbs beyond the CBDs, Brighton garners the most attention from overseas property seekers looking to purchase.

This is unsurprising given its status as one of Melbourne's premier blue-chip suburbs, situated adjacent to the bay.

For renters, Richmond, in Melbourne, emerges as the top suburb after CBD areas, attracting property seekers with its abundance of tech companies, vibrant culture, and proximity to the city centre.

The most viewed new developments by overseas buyers provide insights into current property demands

West Side Place in Melbourne secured the top spot as the most viewed new development in the past year, boasting an array of amenities such as sky gardens, pools, gyms, dining rooms, and even a cinema and karaoke lounges.

However, such luxuries come at a price, with entry-level apartments starting at $525,000.

Overseas property seekers predominantly favor upscale apartments in major cities, with properties at 443 Queen's Street in Brisbane starting at $850,000 for a 1-bedroom, 73-square-metre unit.

In the coming months

Looking ahead, the government's efforts to restore migration to a "sustainable level," particularly through stricter student requirements, have the potential to impact overseas traffic volumes on the site.

If Australia adopts more stringent immigration policies, overseas buyers and renters may redirect their attention to more welcoming nations. The forthcoming months will provide further clarity on these trends.

Check out more PropTrack Insights

The most popular suburbs for buyers in Australia

The surprising locations seeing fewer first-home buyers, and where they’re making a comeback

The areas where more homes are selling at a discount

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