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Sydney Luxury Homes Being Snapped Up By Expats Like Never Before

Posted by Mega Mansions on February 9, 2021
Photo: Benh LIEU SONG

The luxury property market in Sydney, Australia has been booming for some time now, and despite worries about the impact of COVID-19 on the sector, it continues to flourish and show considerable resilience. Indeed, even the firm closure of Australia’s borders hasn’t put off the interests of buyers, with the expat community taking the place of foreign buyers since the pandemic took over.

In the 2010s, a steady stream of foreign buyers snapped up a considerable proportion of Sydney’s most impressive mansions and luxury apartments. The government, however, tightened up the restrictions on sales to off-shore parties in 2018, leading to a decline in their numbers. 

However, according to local luxury estate agents and realtors, the absence of foreign buyers has had no effect on the healthy sales which have characterised 2020 and early 2021. With so many expats taking their place, almost every luxury property to hit the market has sold with a multitude of bidders pushing the property up and beyond the asking price. Many realtors have commented that the luxury sector has simply never looked better. 

The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically slashed the number of long-term returning residents in Sydney, with figures dropping from 10,320 in March to 1,250 in April of 2020 – a direct result of hard border control in the wake of the crisis. September of 2020 saw that figure begin climbing, but only to a paltry 2,530, and yet those who have arrived – and who plan to stay – are apparently house-hunting like never before. 

A Resurgent Luxury Property Sector Down Under

In the third quarter of 2020, Sydney hosted A$470 million (approximately US$337 million) worth of sales in the luxury sector – a massive uptick of 94% compared with the same quarter of 2019, according to Knight Frank Australia. In their recent report on the high-end sector (regarding properties worth upwards of A$10 million), Knight Frank claimed that the last quarter of 2020 saw the strongest number of luxury sales ever recorded in the country. This, they claimed, was partly due to a relatively large number of HNW individuals relocating to Australia, and partly due to a lower number of listings. 

They went on to point out that many expat buyers have been willing to part with millions of dollars before even landing in the country or viewing a home, so in demand are properties in the ‘sweet spot’ between A$5 million and A$15 million. 

What are expat luxury buyers looking for in the high-end Sydney property market? The list of desired requirements is relatively short, and principally deals with location. Anything close to the harbour or beach, within walking distance of private schools, and – befitting the new normal of the post-COVID world – featuring a home office seems to do the trick. 

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