Foreign buyers splash out $6m in year on Gladstone homes

FOREIGN investors have splashed out more than $6 million in just 12 months to buy up Gladstone homes, with British buyers leading the charge.

Buyers from the UK spent $2.6 million, almost matched by Americans who spent $1.93 million.

The two Western superpowers were significantly ahead of the pack. Indian nationals invested $692,500, followed by Jamaicans, Malaysians and South Africans.

In total, 19 homes were sold to international buyers in Gladstone in 2011-12, making us the state's sixth most sought-after council area for overseas buyers.

The regional data was released for the first time to APN by property researchers Colliers International as part of its white paper on residential foreign ownership released earlier this year.

In the 2011-12 financial year, people from 61 countries spent $443 million throughout Queensland, with the bulk of that flowing into units and homes in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.

It was the biggest year for foreign investment in residences for four years, up one third on the previous year.

China proved to be the biggest buyer, pumping $184.9 million into 13 council areas through the purchase of 315 houses.

The Asian powerhouse had a hand in 42% of all residential sales to overseas buyers, although most were understood to be either investments or for Chinese students attending university here.

The figures do not cover vacant land.

Colliers research manager Lynda Campbell said these records were once dominated by New Zealanders and the British, but both "had dropped off a bit lately".

Ms Campbell said the Gold Coast and Brisbane were often favoured by international buyers because overseas tourists knew the regions well.

"They might know a lot about the other areas, unless they have relatives there," she said.

"The Chinese are buying development sites and commercial properties so it was no surprise they were also buying residential.

"They're more about investment whereas the British buy (homes) more for owner-occupation. They're emigrating out here."

BIG SPENDERS:
Where overseas buyers spent, how much and how many homes they bought.

  • Gladstone: $6.3m (19 homes)
  • Rockhampton: $2.6m (13)
  • Gold Coast: $237m (380)
  • Brisbane: $135m (298)
  • Cairns: $11.8m (49)
  • Sunshine Coast: $8.9m (28)
  • Queensland: $443.5m (936)