Highlights from this year's The Property Congress 2014: Expert panel discusses lessons from Australia's property legends

20 September 2014

Sean Pascoe , Partner, Advisory |

This year’s Property Congress brought together four of Australia’s leading property experts for a session with the theme ‘Learning from the Legends.’

‘Legends’ speaking at the event included Jack Rich, Chairman of Galileo Japan Funds Management; Lyn Shaddock kss, Director of Growthpoint Properties; Nigel Chamier OAM, Chairman, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation and Executive Chairman of NAC Investments PTY Ltd; and Turi Condon, Property Editor of The Australian.

Discussions covered a range of topics including contemporary property cycles, whether or not Australia is experiencing a bubble, foreign investment and Australia’s ability to compete, investing in unconventional real estate and other opportunities.

Below, Sebastian Stevens, BDO Property & Construction Leader and Andres Reith, BDO Property & Construction Partner, reveal key points raised by the panel.

  • The current property cycle is running true to form, but the larger amounts of money involved in today’s market has a magnifying effect. Australia is now attracting investment from many different countries including the United States, Japan, Singapore and Korea. China remains the dominant investor.
  • Funds have accumulated in Asia as a result of limited investment in the past. This could result in a surge of investment in Australia.
  • The low cost of borrowing is attracting more investors. A prolonged period of cheap debt is creating opportunities for new as well as existing investors. China’s rapid growth is also contributing to the unprecedented volume of funds available.
  • Interest rates are expected to increase towards the middle of 2015 - this will have a marked effect on international property investors.
  • Charging foreign buyers higher stamp duty could be a risky strategy. It should be a priority to attract investment from overseas.
  • Australia’s property market is highly valued – but robust. Migration is one of the factors driving demand and default rates are consistently low.
  • There’s strong demand for rental property. This sector continues to represent an excellent opportunity for investors.
  • The Gold Coast property market is in growth mode again - primarily driven by population growth.
  • Unconventional investment opportunities include community facilities. This type of property tends not to deliver exceptional returns, but is relatively low risk. Aged care facilities can also offer good returns.
  • Australian investors are opportunistic. Domestic investors are taking advantage of the opportunity to buy when others are cautious.