Apartment demands

FOREIGN demand for new apartments and houses in Australia eased in the June quarter, according to the latest National Australia Bank property survey, but it rose in the more restricted market for existing properties.

NAB said on Tuesday that “foreign buyers pulled back a little” in the new property markets, with their share of total demand falling to 12.8 per cent from 15.6 per cent in the first three months of the year. They were particularly less active in Victoria and New South Wales, NAB said.

Overseas demand for existing houses and flats, however, climbed from 7.5 per cent of the total in the first quarter to 8.6 per cent this time, despite a crackdown on illegal purchases under Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board rules.

In one high-profile case,Treasurer Joe Hockey ordered the sale of a harbour-front mansion in Sydney after the buyer was found to have breached FIRB rules.

NAB estimates that foreign buyers, nonetheless, account for one in 10 sales of established dwellings in both New South Wales and Victoria.