What's happening with foreign property searches?

Robust interest despite fluctuations

What's happening with foreign property searches?


By Mina Martin

Overseas search volumes for properties on realestate.com.au continue to surpass previous years despite seasonal fluctuations.

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

“The rental market typically peaks in January before tapering off in the subsequent months, a trend mirrored in overseas interest for rental properties,” said Karen Dellow (pictured above), senior data analyst at PropTrack.

Although overseas rental searches have pulled back slightly from the elevated levels seen last year, as of April, they were 2.3% lower than the same time a year ago. However, rental search volumes remain elevated compared to the preceding four years.

Search trends by country

April saw a slowdown in property purchase searches from seven major countries, with the United Kingdom being the exception. Conversely, China, New Zealand, and the UK were the only countries experiencing growth in rental property searches.

Impact of student visa regulations

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, there were 44,580 international student arrivals, a decrease of 9,060 students compared to the previous year. This decline is expected to impact the volume of rental searches on realestate.com.au.

Leading destinations for overseas property seekers

Prospective renters predominantly concentrate their searches in New South Wales and Victoria, 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.

Queensland, particularly the allure of the Gold Coast, entices potential buyers, making it the top destination. Victoria 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,” Dellow said.

Brisbane and Perth also enjoy popularity among both buyers and renters from overseas, the PropTrack analysis showed.

Suburb preferences and popular developments

In terms of specific suburbs, Brighton garnered the most attention from overseas property seekers looking to purchase, given its status as one of Melbourne’s premier blue-chip suburbs.

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

West Side Place in Melbourne secured 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 one-bedroom, 73-square-metre unit.

Future outlook

Looking ahead, PropTrack said 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.

To read the PropTrack analysis in full, click here.

See LinkedIn post here.

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