Kathryn Welling, Property journalist
First published 11 Feb 2023, 6:00am
308 Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag sold for $13m to a buyer from China.
Inquiry from Chinese buyers seeking some of Sydney’s most luxurious homes has surged after Beijing’s decision to no longer recognise online foreign university degrees.
Bo Zhang, of Atlas, said inquiry numbers from Chinese buyers had almost quadrupled this year, with three or four flights daily from China arriving in Sydney since February 1.
Some Sydney universities are even looking to charter their own flights from China, other sources advise, to get students here quicker.
Zhang added that China’s wealthy families, some who are educating their children in Australia or are establishing businesses here, have been wanting to come here this year ever since borders reopened post-Covid.
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The stunning views were part of the attraction.
They wanted a family home close to private schools for their two children.
But the unexpected announcement by the Chinese Government at the end of January to ban citizens studying online at foreign universities had created a new sense of urgency.
“The purchasers of a house in Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag were ahead of the pack,” he said.
“They paid $13m for a family home for their two children to attend private schools…generally families are looking from $5m to $30m and they want a trophy home,” he said.
Buyers who are not permanent Australian residents must have approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board to purchase real estate in the country.
Monika Tu, of Black Diamondz Concierge, said the rental market is so tight that Chinese families are looking to buy and are prepared to spend between $5m and $8m on houses in the upper north shore.
They like multiple rooms for sharing and lock up and leave property. She also just sold a city apartment for more than $4m in seven days to Chinese buyers who liked the central location and low maintenance.
The Edinburgh Rd home featured a large kitchen and open-plan living areas.
Even the master suite had glorious harbour views.
Stefon Bertram, of Pello, has also noticed a rise in the number of Chinese families looking at prestige homes. They have been inspecting the $9m house for sale in Raglan St, Mosman and looking at the rare waterfront luxury home at Parriwi Rd, Mosman.
“We are seeing a strong increase from foreign inquiry and inspections carried out on behalf of overseas relatives,” he said.
Buyer’s agent Billy Gleeson, of Webb and Co on the lower north shore, is also fielding more inquiries from the adult children of Chinese buyers looking to purchase.
“We had one Chinese buyer who bought sight unseen in Northbridge paying $13.1m after just one viewing on FaceTime,” he said.
And a Willoughby homeowner who has the lucky number 8 in the address has styled her home to attract a Chinese purchaser.
Buyers from China have been looking at 157 Raglan St, Mosman, which has a $9m guide.
The Pello principal, Stefon Bertram, says there’s been a strong increase in foreign buyer inquiry.
Government figures show that more than 40,000 Chinese students with student visas were living outside of Australia in November 2022.
Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson has said if they all return to Australia accommodating them quickly was going to be a challenge.
According to the International Education Association of Australia international education was the nation’s fourth largest export sector bringing in $34.9b in 2018.
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