4 charts that show the level of foreign buyer activity in Australia's housing market

Photo: Torsten Blackwood/ AFP / Getty Images

The proportion of new Australian homes sold to foreign investors edged higher in the June quarter, according to the latest National Australia Bank’s (NAB) Residential Property Survey.

Based on feedback from around 260 panellists including real estate agents, property developers and fund managers, the survey found that 11.6% of sales went to foreign buyers in the June quarter, up from from 10.8% in the first three months of the year.

Victoria was the state with the highest proportion of sales to foreigners at 20.8%, up from 13.8% in the March quarter and well above the levels recorded in other part of the country.

This chart shows the trend in new property sales to offshore investors by state over the past seven years.

Source: NAB

“Despite China’s crackdown on capital outflows into overseas property markets and a raft of new restrictions and taxes on foreign ownership of Australian properties introduced in the 2017/18 federal budget, the share of overseas buyers in new Australian property markets increased,” the NAB said.

Even with the recent uptick, the proportion of sales to foreign investors remains well below the levels seen in mid-2014.

And that trend has also been seen in sales of existing properties over the same period. However, as seen in the chart below, instead of picking up like new properties sales, they fell heavily during the quarter.

Source: NAB

The survey found that just 5.6% of established property sales went to foreigners, the lowest percentage reported in four years.

Sales in Victoria once again bucked the national trend, lifting to 9% from 7.4% in the March quarter. Elsewhere those in New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland all hit multi-year lows, sliding to 5.9%, 4.5% and 6.1% respectively.

Source: NAB

Including both new and established property sales, the survey found that 17% of apartments, and 11% of houses, went to foreigners across Australia during the quarter.

Source: NAB

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