The NAB Residential Property survey for the March 2015 quarter revealed that foreign buyers accounted for 15.6% of demand for new homes, or one in seven sales.

In Western Australia (WA), more than one of five foreign property investors is buying with an eye to redevelopment, the highest percentage in the country. WA Professionals chief executive, Shane Kempton, said: “They are particularly active in inner-city areas, especially near major educational institutions, as many decide to lease the properties to their children when they study in Australia.”

Mark Hay Realty Group principal, Mark Hay, said he had worked with a large number of Chinese developers who were buying land, particularly in the Midlands and Beckenham districts, to create blocks for units. “They are large companies looking to dip their toes in the WA market,” Hay said. “They see Australia — and WA in particular — as a safe market, with strong investment potential.”