australian property market wrap 7 august 2023
Recent sales in Chatswood may have been driven by changes to stamp duty, according to real estate agents. Image: Canva.
  • Joe Hanna has moved on from PropTech Group.
  • Apartment demand bolstered by international students.
  • Stamp duty may be behind flurry of pre-change buying.

The latest in Australian real estate includes a renewed focus on international students as drivers of rental and apartment demand, on-the-ground reports of the latest stamp duty changes, and a CEO preparing for his next big challenge.

Joe Hanna moves on from PropTech group

The CEO of PropTech Group (ASX: PTG) has moved on from the company, in preparation for his next big challenge.

Hanna had been CEO of The PropTech Group since it relisted on the ASX under the ticker symbol PTG in 2021. The company provided CRM and other software to real estate agencies and grew rapidly.

joe hanna
Joe Hanna. Image: Supplied.

In October of 2022, the PropTech Group attracted the attention of MRI Software, a global leader in the sector. MRI acquired PTG for nearly $100 million, a premium of 131% to its market value, and completed the acquisition in February of 2023.

Hanna oversaw the acquisition and is looking forward to some time off before diving into a new challenge.

“The first thing I feel is a sense of gratitude that our team has been able to integrate so effectively into MRI’s organisation,” said Hanna.

“After a break, I think I will be ready for something new. Even though we have made a lot of progress, the consumer real estate journey is still too complex and too confusing. I still think there is room to improve it. Perhaps that’s what I’ll do next.”

Joe Hanna, PropTech Group

Apartment demand lifts

Following the reopening of Chinese borders, homebuyer enquiries have risen substantially.

According to Juwai IQI co-founder and group managing director, Daniel Ho, Chinese homebuyer enquiries in Australia were 126% higher in the first quarter than in Q4 of 2022.

Daniel Ho
Daniel Ho. Image: Supplied.

“The first wave of buyers to arrive after China’s borders reopened in January were those who already had Australian permanent residency but were unable to travel during the three years that China was locked down.

“The next wave is the students who are returning to Australia to learn. Chinese enrolments are still about one-third lower than before the pandemic, so there is still plenty of growth left in that category.

“These arrivals will mean more demand for rentals and one and two-bedroom apartments in the areas where these students traditionally concentrate.”

The news comes as a recent report found Australia topped the list of preferred countries for Chinese homebuyers.

Top 10 Chinese buyer destinations by year

2023 H1 2022 2021 2020
Australia Australia Thailand Thailand
Canada Canada United States United States
United Kingdom United States Australia Australia
United States Thailand Canada Canada
Thailand United Kingdom United Kingdom Japan
Malaysia Vietnam Vietnam United Kingdom
Japan Malaysia Japan Malaysia
United Arab Emirates Japan Malaysia Philippines
Vietnam United Arab Emirates Singapore Greece
Singapore Singapore Germany Germany

Source: Juwai IQI.

NSW stamp duty changes led a flurry of sales

Real estate agents in Sydney believe the recent stamp duty changes in New South Wales drove a flurry of pre-30 June sales, with buyers looking to make the most of the Perrotetera stamp duty policies before the changes made under the Chris Minns government took effect.

Plus Agency has sold 16 luxury apartments in fewer than 10 weeks at the new Seymour Residences in Sydney’s suburb of Roseville, where it is a co-agent.

peter li plus agency
Peter Li. Image: Supplied.

“This is a very quick launch in the current market,” said general manager of Plus Agency, Peter Li.

“Many of the buyers were in the $1 million to $1.5 million price bracket and wanted to purchase before 30 June, when NSW revoked the option to pay a small amount of land tax every year instead of a large amount of stamp duty upfront.

“This is also a rare project because it offers luxury homes in a fantastic location at prices that are affordable for the North Shore. Seymour Residences is close to all the amenities of Chatswood and will have fantastic transit connections via the Metro and train,” added Li.

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