Morning Briefing: Chinese demand for apartments in capitals still high

A property marketing and services business' sales figures show Chinese demand for city apartments remains strong... Mortgage brokers urged to use common sense when it comes to interest-only loans...

Chinese demand for apartments in capitals still high  
China-focused property marketing and services business Ausin Group sales figures have shown that Chinese buyers still have a strong interest in apartments within the capital cities, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. 

Ausin Group founder Joseph Zaja expects no slow-down in the demand, with at least five more years of uplift. 

Ausin Group is on track to sell 3000 properties to Chinese buyers over this year – mainly apartments in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

"There's at least five more years of solid uplift to go. If we can sell 3000 units this year, we can sell more next year," Zaja said.

"They always have a long-term vision to emigrate. That's being spread across Australia, Auckland, London and America. It's happening in Europe as well, in Cyprus, Greece, Portugal and Spain."

The group opened an office in Mayfair recently to take advantage of its large Chinese sales network.

"We are selling London property into China . . . and seeing how it goes, but, so far, it has been a success," he said.

Many of their clients are repeat customers, often buying more than one property and using the firm's immigration, finance and other services.

Last financial year saw Ausin clients settle on 900 properties with only three dropping off.
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Mortgage brokers urged to use common sense when it comes to interest-only loans
Some common sense by mortgage brokers when it comes to working with clients wanting interest-only loans would be a step in the right direction, according to a Sydney based buyer’s agent.

Todd Hunter, founder and director of buyer’s agency wHeregroup, believes brokers should be doing more to gauge whether an interest-only loan is in the best interest of applicants.

Hunter made the claim after MPA's sister publication, Australian Broker, revealed that the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) will launch a review into the conduct of brokers regarding interest-only loans.

As reported in Australian Broker this week, ASIC senior executive leader – deposit takers, credit & insurers, Michael Saadat used the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) annual conference in Queensland last week to announce the review.

“Going forward we intend to undertake a further review in the interest-only area moving on from lenders to brokers with a particular focus on brokers’ consideration of consumer requirements and objectives,” Sadat said.

Hunter, who earlier this year said the number of interest only homes being written had reached “scary” levels, backed Sadat’s announcement.

“I think ASIC scrutinising mortgage brokers and interest-only loans in general is a good thing,” Hunter said.

“I think there’s probably some brokers out there who might need to take a look at their best-practice standards and just think a bit more whether an interest-only loan is right for the applicant. I think a bit more common sense would help a lot,” he said.

While Hunter backed the announcement of the review, it has drawn the ire of the FBAA who believe lenders should also be subject to more scrutiny.

“Lenders make the loan and lending rules that brokers must follow and in line with the brokers own responsible lending obligations, the vast majority are not intentionally breaking the law and are applying responsible lending considerations to the loans they arrange for borrowers,” FBAA chief executive Peter White told Australian Broker.
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