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“We say limited English, unlimited bank accounts,” Melbourne realtor Tim Heavyside told Alex Cullen in an interview for Sunday Night.

Foreign investors are snapping up properties around the country, but no city is more appealing to buyers than Melbourne.

Last year nearly a quarter of new homes in Victoria were sold to overseas buyers – more than any other state in Australia. But as many as 20 per cent of those properties are being left empty.

“They’re looking at buying a property this year and another one the year after and another one, and they just want to continue doing it,” chairman of investment management company Yellow Brick Road Mark Bouris said.

“Even if they themselves as individuals don’t benefit from it, it goes to their children and their broader family.”

Chinese investment is putting upward pressure on prices in our big cities, but Mark said Aussie buyers shouldn’t be overly concerned.

“The demand and supply is different for every segment, so just because somebody is willing to pay for Packer or Murdoch’s house for $25 million… I don’t think that affects the price of a house in Punchbowl.”

And for those getting outbid at an auction by a Chinese investor, he says tough luck.

“They can’t buy property under the foreign investment review board rules, so they must be local Asian people. What do I say? I say they’re Australians and that’s the way it is, they’ve got more money to spend.”

Real estate agent to China’s richest movers and shakers, Monika Tu, said the biggest appeal to Chinese buyers was the Australian lifestyle.

“China is quite polluted and it’s overcrowded, it’s such a big population.

“Secondly is definitely the education. So in 90 per cent of my buyers [that] come here from China, they love the school system here,” she said.

“It’s not a Chinese invasion. Chinese love to buy properties so if they don’t buy Australian properties they will buy Canadian properties, English properties, it’s just in their blood, they love to buy properties.”

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