Sunday, February 26, 2017

Chinese buyers ‘frustrated’ at property myths form Australian lobby group

Chinese buyers ‘frustrated’ at property myths form Australian lobby group

The Gold Coast is the hot new location for Chinese buyers, but they’re frustrated at being blamed for rising house prices in the major cities.
CHINESE property investors are being taken advantage of by dodgy operators and discriminated against by the Australian public, a leading Chinese businessman has warned.
Wayne Tseng, the president of the Chinese Precinct General Chamber of Commerce, said coming from a country where individual and consumer rights were relatively new concepts, Chinese were often easy targets.
Mr Tseng, a former Liberal Party candidate who was born in Vietnam to Chinese parents and migrated to Brisbane in the 1970s, has founded a new group based in Melbourne, the Chinese Chamber of Property Investors, to represent local and foreign Chinese and inform them of their legal rights.
He told news.com.au both Chinese and Australian operators were guilty of bad behaviour.
“They have to navigate the complex procedure of buying or selling a property and unfortunately some of the operators do take advantage of the fact that the Chinese are not knowledgeable of the system,” he said.
Some of the behaviour reported to his group include buyers being charged commissions — which is common practice in China — and being given incomplete listing information to push particular properties.
“Even the banks, they’ll offer you a loan but say you have to buy insurance from us, which is not true, everyone has a right to decide,” he said.
He likened it to scammers who used to charge tourists to walk on the beach. “It’s just like the old days,” he said. “You don’t have to pay $10 to walk up the beach. I used to see it on the Gold Coast, I actually reported it to council.”
Wayne Tseng has founded the Chinese Chamber of Property Investors.
Wayne Tseng has founded the Chinese Chamber of Property Investors.Source:Supplied
Mr Tseng said members of the community felt “frustrated” at the current debate around foreign investment and accusations that they were responsible for rising property prices, and that their voices weren’t being heard.
“A lot of the ruling public sentiment is that [Chinese] are the ones pushing up prices, but in all honesty it’s only in defined pockets,” he said.
“What we do know is they are purchasing new developments, and their investment funds these developments, and the stamp duty that gets charged off each purchase goes to fund infrastructure.
“In a way they do feel a bit frustrated that they don’t have a voice.”
It comes as a new report by Propell National Valuers rejected the “urban legend” that foreign purchasers were responsible for the runaway growth in house prices.
According to Propell’s head of research Linda Phillips, foreign buyers target specific property ranges, mostly inner-city apartments and expensive properties in Sydney and Melbourne, with Brisbane also starting to attract some interest.
In those specific markets, Propell found foreign buyers had added around 5 per cent to values of prestige property in preferred suburbs only.
“If price increases were mainly the result of foreign buyer interest, then we would have expected Melbourne prices to increase at a rate closer to that of Sydney,” the report said.
“The fact that Sydney prices have increased at double the rate of Melbourne shows that most of the increase is due to the imbalance between supply and demand in Sydney.’’
Mr Tseng said the not-for-profit group employed three full-time people to direct investors to trusted conveyancers, advisers and real estate agents, and organised workshops and education seminars. It was also lobbying for better communication with the Foreign Investment Review Board.
“The various new rulings passed on by the FIRB are not well communicated to the Chinese community,” he said. “There needs to be a simple information dispatch. Currently there isn’t a central point where they can get information and ask simple questions about their eligibility.
“This is very dangerous.