China’s Stock Market and Australian Real Estate with Dominic Lambrinos

With China stocks losing up to 30 percent of their value in recent weeks (a staggering $4 trillion depreciation in value) Australia is almost certain to feel more than just ripple effects. China accounts for more than 30 percent of Australia’s exports, making it Australia’s largest trading partner.

If the Chinese stock market continues to collapse, troubling times seem imminent for Australia. A market crash will wipe off the wealth of many Chinese investors, making them lose their investments, sink them in debt, and needless to say, highly restrict consumption – a loss of business for Australia, who heavily relies on consumption spending. But how will this play out for the Australian property sector? Experts are divided. China is currently the largest foreign investor in Aussie real estate. But with the current condition of the Chinese stock market, those with a cautious outlook believe that China’s financial crisis will drive down Chinese investment on Australian properties.

Developers are anxious about two things. They are worried that existing Chinese investors who have yet to settle their purchases may be unable to make good on their payments, especially those who have paid only 10 percent of the total price of their real estate investment. Developers are also worried that Chinese investors – who have placed almost $12.5 billion into Australian real estate projects between 2014 and 2015 alone – may put an abrupt stop to the cash flow.

However at the other end of the spectrum, there are those who see China’s financial woes as a possible boon to Australia’s property industry. They argue that there is reason to believe that the overall trend of rising Chinese investment in Australian real estate will keep on going. The Australian dollar was below $0.75 this week, and it is expected to keep on falling. This will make Australian real estate more affordable and more attractive to foreign investors, particularly those seeking to put their money elsewhere other than the volatile stock market.

Whichever side will be proven right in due time, only one thing is certain: it is an interesting time.