Melbourne has “stolen” Chinese buyers from other Australian cities this year. Figures from property website Juwai, show Melbourne received 40.5 per cent of Chinese buyer inquiries made in Australia this year – up from 35.6 per cent last year. Sydney took the next largest share at 17.5 per cent. As we reported previously – inquiries about Australian property overall are down 9.7 per cent. Juwai say that a series of foreign buyer restrictions and taxes recently imposed in Australia, with little prior warning, had made some Chinese property-hunters conclude Australia is not as welcoming as before. You might have heard of new guidelines recently introduced by the Chinese government restricting overseas spending by the country’s companies. Well that is not going to apply to individual property buyers. Australia comfortably remains the second most popular offshore destination for Chinese buyers, behind the US, as its property is considered “good value”, according to Juwai.com. So …. what has made Melbourne so popular? Educational and employment opportunities, reliable investment environment, large Chinese community and relatively safe lifestyle. But what is happening with sellers of Australian property? Well Core Logic report that higher stamp duty charges, because of strong price growth, are dissuading Australians from upgrading or downgrading their properties. As a result, Cameron Kusher from Core Logic says that advertised stock levels remain low across most markets and with turnover levels continuing to trend lower, some believe this may exacerbate housing affordability constraints as potential home buyers compete for an increasingly-small amount of stock. Less stock and increasing demand will drive prices higher. In Queensland – the Greens have announced a plan that would give renters the right to seek unlimited leases on properties, paint walls without consent, and impose rent control as part of the terms of a lease. The proposed policy would also introduce a rule that would mean landlords would have to provide 12 months notice for an eviction. Real Estate Institute of Queensland chief executive Antonia Mercorella said that shifting the balance of power any further toward renters would send property investors running. It’s simply unrealistic to expect that landlords will continue to invest in real estate if they are faced with untenable arrangements that don’t allow them to protect the value of their asset and strip them of fundamental rights. I agree.