Aussie Home Sellers Prefer Rich Foreign Buyers

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By Athena Yenko | June 12, 2014 4:11 PM EST

A growing trend among rich Australians reflects their strong preference in selling their houses strictly to foreign investors only. Proof of which is the existence of a luxury Australian property web site which can only be accessed using an IP address from other countries.

A row of newly-constructed homes selling for over one million dollars each are pictured in the new Sydney suburb of Greenhills Beach, May 13, 2014. Official figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday showed that housing prices grew at a slower-than-expected pace at the beginning of 2014, reported local media.
A row of newly-constructed homes selling for over one million dollars each are pictured in the new Sydney suburb of Greenhills Beach, May 13, 2014. Official figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday showed that housing prices grew at a slower-than-expected pace at the beginning of 2014, reported local media.

Richard Simeon, director of the Simeon Manners agency listed in the Web site, explained that Australians prefer foreign buyers because they wanted to sell their properties at best price.

 "Some people are very secretive about it. They don't want it bandied about, or going stale," Simeon told Business Insider.

Simeon's agency had just sold a Sydney property which can be considered the highest sales of the year. The agency was able to find a buyer for a mansion worth $15.6 million. The buyer was a European fanily who made the purchase overseas.

The observation came after a study from the International Monetary Fund revealed that Australian houses belong to the most expensive in the world.

Australian houses ranked among the most expensive of houses in the world - household incomes and rents combine, according to IMF charts.

The charts compared house prices according to the ratio of house prices side by side household incomes and house prices side by side rental fees.

Comparing Australia to 24 countries, it ranked number 3 in the category where house prices are out of reach by average household incomes. House prices in Australia were seen to be four times the average household income in the country; a figure much higher than the country' historical value.

In the category where house prices are misaligned with rental fees, Australia ranked number 5 behind Belgium, Norway, New Zealand and Canada.

IMF Deputy Director Min Zhu highly emphasised that Australian price-to-income and price-to-rent ratios were ''well above'' historical averages. He warned that if the situation continues, housing markets may soon be 'overheating' in the country.

"Housing is an essential sector of every country's economy, but has also been a source of financial crises for institutions and countries. Understanding the drivers of house price cycles, and how to moderate these cycles, is important for economic stability. It is only by maintaining an open dialogue on these issues that we will gain a solid understanding of how policies can contain housing booms," Zhu wrote in his blog.

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(Photo: Reuters / JASON REED)
A row of newly-constructed homes selling for over one million dollars each are pictured in the new Sydney suburb of Greenhills Beach, May 13, 2014. Official figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday showed that housing prices grew at a slower-than-expected pace at the beginning of 2014, reported local media.
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