Attwood Marshall Lawyers Property and Commercial Lawyer, Andrea McGarry, explains why Americans are looking to snatch up Australian properties in 2021.
Americans want a bite of the land of Oz
After the US Capitol was stormed by rioters who supported former President Donald Trump, and opposed President Joe Biden’s looming inauguration, interest began flowing in from Americans wanting to purchase their piece of serenity down under.
Many Americans are concerned about the direction of the US government, the current state of affairs and the prevalence of guns in their country. The lure of Australian culture and our scenic landscapes are understandably inviting as an alternative place to call home.
Christie’s International Real Estate Agent, Ken Jacobs, recently told The Sydney Morning Herald that he had received more than eight inquiries immediately following the US Capitol riots.
“Normally we get inquiries from all around the world on specific properties, this time there have been inquiries of people actually saying [they’re] considering a move to Australia,” Jacobs says.
This is not the first-time political conflict has prompted international buyers to seek a safe haven in the land of Oz. The September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City’s World Trade Centres led to a 60 per cent increase in inquiries from Americans looking to purchase real estate in Australia.
How COVID-19 has contributed to making Australia real estate hot property
The Coronavirus pandemic has played a significant role in the increase in demand for Australian properties. The Lowy Institute recently introduced a COVID-19 Performance Index, which ranked countries performance in handling the pandemic. The Index measured performance based on a number of indicators, including:
- Confirmed cases;
- Confirmed deaths;
- Confirmed cases per million people;
- Confirmed deaths per million people;
- Confirmed cases as a proportion of tests; and
- Tests per thousand people.
Whilst Australia was featured in the top ten performing countries in the world, in 8th place, the United States of America was ranked 94th of 98.
There’s no place like home
In addition to the increase in demand from Americans looking to buy Australian properties, real estate agents are also noticing an increase of enquiry from ex-patriots from all around the world as they plan their return to Australia amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many Australian expats are cashed up and willing to stretch their budgets to get their ideal waterfront property.
Knight Frank recently released their Australian Prime Waterfront Index – 2020 report which found that a waterfront location can uplift a property’s value in a major Australian city by an average of 69%. Of the five major cities analysed, Sydney saw the highest uptick from a waterfront location at 104.7%, with the Gold Coast following with a premium of 68%.
What buyers need to consider when hunting for Australian properties
There are a number of important legal factors which should be considered by anyone looking at purchasing property in Australia. Firstly, foreigners should consider the guidelines put in place by the Foreign Resident Review Board (FIRB). FIRB is Australia’s governing body which ensures properties purchased by foreigners are in compliance with the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act (1975).
Foreign citizens should also consider stamp duty on their purchase, which in some states, includes an additional foreign purchaser levy.
Attwood Marshall Lawyers is an experienced electronic conveyancing firm. We have an office in the Brisbane CBD, as well as offices at Robina Town Centre, Coolangatta, Kingscliff, Sydney and Melbourne. Our team can assist buyers with residential homes and investment properties in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. If you have buyers who are considering relocating, our experienced property solicitors can assist them with all legal aspects of acquiring property.