Australian property developers are touting a new visa facility that allows foreigners to apply for Australian residence permits for up to four years to lure Indonesian buyers.
Several property agencies including Ray White have actively promoted sales of Australian properties in Indonesia.
“We conduct property fairs monthly to promote our Australian-developer partners,” Ray White Indonesia COO Sari Dewi Sari said recently.
“We are currently handling four developers, each of whom targets to sell 100 to 150 units annually.”
Sari said that she hoped the visa facility would increase the firm’s sales in Indonesia.
Among the agency’s partners is Sydney-based Crown International Holdings Group, which wants to book Rp 1 trillion ( US$102.96 million ) in sales from projects marketed in Indonesia.
Crown currently markets three of its projects to Indonesians: V by Crown, superblock Top Ryde City Living and Viking by Crown, with prices ranging from Rp 3.5 billion to Rp 11.5 billion.
On Nov. 24, the Australian government began to issue Significant Investor Visas ( SIV ) to encourage foreign investment in Australia. Four-year residence permits are available to non-Australians who invest a minimum of A$5 million in approved investment funds.
However, investors are not the only targets of the Australian property developers, who are also reaching out to affluent Asians that send their children to study down under.
“We are finding outstanding growth in the Asian market for property in Sydney that has been going for years and it is still increasing. The biggest [buyers] actually come from China” followed by Indonesians, Crown’s director for sales and marketing, Haig Conolly, told reporters in Jakarta recently.
However, local interest in overseas property purchases this year has waned, according to a recent survey conducted by iProperty real estate portal, which said that only 17 percent of 6,000 respondents in Indonesia intended to buy property overseas in the first half of the year, down from 42 percent in the same period last year.
The survey attributed the dip to a tendency of domestic buyers to look “inward rather than outward”.
The report said that 56 percent of respondents viewed Singapore as a prospective property market, 23 percent preferred Australia while 14 percent chose Malaysia.
“There is a slowdown in overseas investment, of course. But property purchases are not simply about a bigger return. Some buy out of prestige,” Jones Lang LaSalle research director Anton Sitorus said.
Hasan Pamudji of Knight Frank said that many rich local people have begun to buy property in Australia in addition to Singapore, which has long been a favorite choice of Indonesian buyers.
“Wealthy Indonesians seek to send their children abroad to study, and if possible, to settle in Australia, for its proximity and quality of life,” Hasan said.
The analyst said that there was a possibility this year that Indonesian purchases in the Australian property market top those in Singapore, especially after the issuance of the visa facility and given a recently introduced anti-speculation regulation that might deter foreign investors.