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August 22, 2023 by ash

Chinese buyers seek out Hunter Valley house and land projects

Regional house and land projects are being increasingly snapped up by foreign buyers who are expanding their search for a home to live or invest in.

At the start of June, 10 buyers purchased house and land packages in the Hunter Valley – with an additional 350 expressing interest in the area.

Originating from Hong Kong, Malaysia and China, the buyers had been lured to two projects in the Hunter Valley, with another project in Lake Macquarie considered highly desirable.

Both local and overseas Chinese buyers were looking to regional areas for their Australian property investments.

Peter Li is the general manager of Plus Agency for both Sydney and Shanghai, and told The Daily Telegraph that inner-city apartments were no longer the most sought after asset for this demographic.

“Chinese buyers have reconsidered regional properties because of the pandemic-driven boom in prices there. They can pay less, get more, and obtain a higher yield if they’re purchasing for investment.

“Non-citizens who purchase a regional house and land package only pay stamp duty on the land, but if they buy an apartment they pay stamp duty on the total value.”

In comparison, Mr Li argues an $800,000 apartment will result in a first homebuyer paying 12 per cent in stamp duty – equating to $100,000.

“If you buy an $800,000 house and land package in the Hunter Valley, you only pay stamp duty on the land, which would be worth about $240,000. That means instead of paying $100,000 in stamp duty, you are only paying about $30,000.”

The projects being offered for sale in the Hunter Valley include Apollo Village and Mount View Grange.

Located 250 kilometres north of Sydney, the Apollo Village is a housing development being constructed in the small town of Denman.

In April, 16 house and land packages within the master planned community were sold at a local event – with prices starting at $730,000.

Mr Li said the project is aimed at providing housing for people with disabilities.

“These buyers are providing a service by investing in housing for this overlooked demographic.”

Good Value Realty director John Yang said a number of Asian investors had inquired into Mount View Grange in the Cessnock council area.

Mr Yang said the master planned community will span three hectares and be close to a number of wineries.

“As the local vacancy rates are lower than 1 per cent and demand is high, Asian buyers believe it is a good investment. They are either buying pure investment properties for long-term rentals, or they are buying something they hope to use as a holiday house or a retirement home.

“This project offers a big block of land from 450 sqm to 800 sqm with prices starting from $310,888.

“You cannot buy land in China, so the first thing Chinese do when they get here is look for land they can buy. Freehold land is permanent.”

Major banks like ANZ and NAB estimate foreign buyers account for 2.5 to 4.6 per cent of Australia’s residential housing stock, with the UK holding the highest number of residents owning a property in the country.