Investment could mean a rise in offshore buyers

CEO says brokers can tap into a pipeline of new opportunities by learning how to provide financing to Chinese investors

Investment could mean a rise in offshore buyers



Australian property investment group Ironfish has made a strategic investment in the popular Chinese-language real estate listing website, potentially opening up new opportunities for Australian mortgage brokers to provide financing to Chinese buyers. 

Chinese real estate investment in Australia has soared from $4bn five years ago to $31.9bn last year, according to Juwai. Australia was the second-most popular country after the U.S. for Chinese buyers in 2017, ahead of Thailand, Canada and the UK. 

"Even though Chinese buying is off last year's incredible record high, just-released RBA data shows that Chinese buyers still snap up about every fifth newly built apartment," said Juwai's CEO Carrie Law. 

Ironfish founder Joseph Chou, a former Chinese diplomat, entrepreneur and property investor, said the investment in Juwai will help his company grow and expand. 

“At Ironfish, while our Chinese buyers represent only a portion of our overall customer base, we still see very strong demand of Chinese customers coming to purchase property in Australia – whether it’s to buy property for their children to live in when they come here to study, or for when they migrate, or simply as an investment. We see that demand will continue," Chou said. 

For those brokers looking to work with Chinese investors, Law said they should first get to know the relevant lenders and products that will finance offshore buyers. 

Law said brokers should be asking what kind of loan products they offer, what the terms are, which documents are required, and how much can be borrowed by these clients. "Probably the most important thing you can do is to have a relationship with the lenders who will work with these buyers," she said. 

“A key strategy for mortgage brokers is to tap into a pipeline of investors by working with a company like Juwai or even with agents who have large numbers of this kind of buyer among their client base. If you have a flow of buyers coming your way, success will be much easier than if you have to struggle to find each one." 

Ironfish has 14 offices across Australia and China and is known for helping investors navigate their way into the property market. is the top online international real estate listing platform for Chinese-speakers with more than two million monthly visitors and listings across 89 countries. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

Related stories:

China to spend $104bn on property this year 

Foreign real estate investment jumps 19% 

Chinese still undaunted by Australian property market 

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