Overseas buyers invited to have first dibs on Melbourne developments

Developers are increasingly launching Melbourne apartments overseas to capture strong demand from foreign buyers, and some are inviting them to have first dibs.

In Richmond, a million, 140 apartment project at 9-15 David Street pre-launched simultaneously in Beijing, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Sabah and Singapore before they were advertised locally.

International property marketers Jalin Realty last month advertised the apartments in newspapers in Singapore and Malaysia, and invited prospective buyers and agents to attend live launch events at their local offices.

Developers are increasingly launching Melbourne apartments overseas to capture strong demand from foreign buyers, and some are inviting them to have first dibs.

In Richmond, a million, 140 apartment project at 9-15 David Street pre-launched simultaneously in Beijing, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Sabah and Singapore before they were advertised locally.

International property marketers Jalin Realty last month advertised the apartments in newspapers in Singapore and Malaysia, and invited prospective buyers and agents to attend live launch events at their local offices.

Information on the Supply Co apartments, including plans, photos, videos and price lists, were displayed on large TV screens and computer monitors, via the sales platform investorist.com.

Reservations showed up immediately on an electronic sales board so attendees could see where and how many apartments were being bought in live time.

About 50 guests turned up at each event, and about 30 per cent of the apartments were reserved and later converted into contracted sales.
Ian Chen, group chief executive of Jalin Realty, said apartments were sold off-market to local and offshore buyers before an advertising campaign started in November.

Mr Chen said the majority of sales from the launch events were to foreign buyers. An Australian bank is financing the development and because most banks require at least 70 per cent of the sales to occur locally, Jalin was now focusing its efforts on Australia.

Jon Ellis, chief executive of investorist.com, said more developers simultaneously launching their projects internationally and domestically over the past three to four years.

He said advancements in technology had made it easier and cheaper to sell to buyers overseas.

In fact, 110 of the 128 Melbourne projects on investorist.com, a business-to-business sales platform for off-the-plan properties, were promoted internationally.

“More than half of off-the-plan purchases now are either first-generational Australians or offshore, predominantly from Asia,” Mr Ellis said.

“The main driving factor is globalisation, and now it’s very, very simple to sell your property in China, Singapore and Malaysia.”

For some developers and property marketers, such as Jalin Realty, it made sense to approach to their strong overseas client base, he said.

“[Developers] will allocate portions of your development to different sales strategies, be that offshore, local project marketing groups, seminars, or display suite with for-sale boards at the front,” Mr Ellis said.

“With the sheer volume of sales coming from offshore into new-build properties, it made sense for the developers to have [offshore] at least as a very big part of their mix.”

Other Melbourne developments have been launched overseas first.

Singaporean developer Aspial Corporation released a proportion of the 1105 apartments in the city’s tallest tower, Australia 108, at a special preview in Singapore three months before the local launch.

At least 133 of the units were reportedly snapped up by a mix of Singaporean and foreign buyers.

Aurora Melbourne Central, by Malaysian developers UEM Sunrise, also launched their project to their exclusive clients in Malaysia and Singapore.

The remaining apartments were released in South Asia and the local Australian market.

“Some developers prefer to launch offshore because they are from offshore, and they want their client base to have a first look at it, particularly Singaporean and Malaysian developers,” explained Tim Storey, Victoria managing director of residential at Colliers International.

“But there’s generally no set rules on how to do it.”

To achieve the sheer volume of sales quickly for most big projects, with more than 500 units, Mr Storey said there was a need to open up to more markets.

But generally good projects did not need to concentrate on offshore markets, he said.

It also depended on timing, Mr Storey said. A developer who was waiting for the display suite and materials to be organised might decide to concentrate on the local market later.

“Sometimes it’s just quicker to mobilise the VIP database first with limited information … that’s probably the bigger driver more than a strategy in itself.”
(Source: Domain.com.au)