KUALA LUMPUR: Investors from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and China are turning to the Australian commercial property market to combat lower local interest rate returns and the threat of continued global economic instability, says new property portal, CommercialAsia.com.
In a statement today, its national sales manager for Australia and New Zealand, Corey Weekes, said Australia's steady economy and commercial property sector, particularly in those areas connected with the resources boom, offered Asian investors attractive yields and a 'safe haven' to preserve and grow their wealth.
"Region-wide cooling measures for property investment by Asian governments are also driving many Asian investors to explore offshore options like Australia," he said.
Weekes said foreign investors played a vital role in holding up Australian commercial property values.
"The recent drop in interest rates is helping local private and institutional investors to return to commercial property investments.
"However, it is still a challenge for many domestic investors to raise capital," he said.
John Bowie Wilson, city sales director with Knight Frank, said the number of offshore investors interested in the Australian commercial property sector was increasing on a daily basis.
"The Asian investor market is more active than I've ever seen it before," said Bowie Wilson, who has worked in the sector for fifteen years.
He said Asian investors were typically capital-rich and had a good understanding of the requirements when investing in Australian property.
Asia's number one online property group, iProperty Group, ASX (IPP), launched the new commercial property website to assist Australian property owners and agents connect with the growing number of Asian investors keen to enter the Australian property.
CommercialAsia.com provided property investors across Asia-Pacific with a simple way to browse commercial and industrial properties for sale or lease, it said.
IPP said offshore-based institutions and private investors accounted for 37 per cent of Australia's commercial sale transactions in 2011.
"CommercialAsia.com draws on the iProperty Group's existing network of property portals across Asia, which attracts 3.5 million unique visitors per month and have over 25,000 property agent customers.
"To date, the site has over 50,000 commercial and industrial properties listed for sale and lease by over 7,000 agents; including 1,000 Australian commercial properties listed from agents including Knight Frank and Burgess Rawson," it said.
Asia-Pacific investors can search CommercialAsia.com for office, retail, hotel and industrial properties and land by state or territory, as well as by size and price.