Chinese buyers of Australian real estate dropped sharply in 2017 after a series of laws to limit foreign investment were passed, according to industry insiders.
"The past few years we have had many buyers from China," Chen Yitong, a real estate agent based in Sydney told the Global Times on Wednesday.
But "the laws were changed after many locals complained. Foreigners now pay a 12 percent tax to buy real estate in Sydney, compared with 4 percent for locals. Most banks also won't give mortgages to foreign buyers. It's harder to sell a house to Chinese buyers these days," she said.
Real estate controls and other factors contributed to a big fall in Chinese investment into Australia, which declined 23 percent year-on-year in 2017, according to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
"Investment from China into Australia dried up significantly last year, both by individuals and corporations, both due to capital controls in China and increased restrictions in Australia," Zhang Jiayuan, a partner at Beijing-based Ransenhuizhi Investment Fund Management Co, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
"Australian real estate has now become quite expensive, and the associated policies are not attractive anymore for investors. Most investment coming from China in the next few years will likely be from large companies or institutions aligned with Chinese policies," said Zhang.
But even as official figures show investment flows from China dried up in 2017, Australian citizens are highly concerned about Chinese investment in Australia, according to the 2018 Lowy Institute Poll released on Wednesday.
The poll showed that 72 percent of Australians, up from 56 percent in 2016, believe their government allows too much investment from China. The report also identifies real estate as one of the key areas where Chinese investment triggered concerns.