And this only serves to confirm Australia’s “safe-haven status”, being closely aligned with the Asian region.
During the 1970s, it was UK property companies who dominated the Australian Commercial scene. Then, Japan led the boom period during the 1980s. And it was South-East Asia who mopped up the aftermath, throughout the 1990s.
This time around, there is a spread of buyers — coming from the US, Asia & Europe. And Australia appears to be appealing to each of these investors for different reasons.
According to David Rees (head of JLL Research): “For US and European investors Australia is an easy way into Asia-Pacific; for Asian investors it is an easy way out [of the region] into more transparent, well-regulated markets.”
Principally, the buyers for Australian property are coming from the Asian region — being cashed-up pension and property funds. However, there has also been strong interest by US and German investors as well.
Currently, these purchases represent about 10% to 15% of the market by value. And this is being seen as a long-term (rather than short-term) trend.
According to DTZ, 2010 saw property investment within the Asia-Pacific region top $158 billion for the first time — more than all of the investment undertaken throughout Europe.
Bottom Line: Even if some local investors are being overly cautious … overseas buyers realise the Australian Commercial property market has now begun what will prove to be a strong upswing.