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Published 11 July 2012 14:50, Updated 12 July 2012 05:31
Australian real estate agent LJ Hooker hopes to lure more Chinese buyers to Australia by partnering China’s leading international property portal, Juwai.com.
The agreement will involve LJ Hooker residential and commercial listings being marketed to Chinese international property buyers through Juwai.com, allowing LJ Hooker agents to further tap into the $4.2 billion Chinese investor market.
The agency set up an office in Shanghai in 2004 to attract Chinese investors – the fastest-growing international buyer segment of Australian property.
According to Juwai.com figures, Chinese buyers spent more than $4.2 billion on Australian property in 2011, up from $1.1 billion two years earlier, generating about $48 million in commissions.
LJ Hooker chief executive Georg Chmiel says it’s a big win for the company’s franchise network, which includes 690 offices across Australia and New Zealand. The franchise group sells 40,000 properties each year, worth about $15 billion.
“Over the past 18 months, LJ Hooker has been investing heavily in the online and digital space for our agents as well as clients and has demonstrated great results with over 40 per cent increase in traffic on ljhooker.com.au in the past 12 months,” he said.
“Through this portal we will further expand the online reach of our residential and commercial listings and provide access to one of the fastest growing markets for our clients.”
Juwai.com is China’s leading international property portal when ranked by unique browsers, property listings and editorial resources.
The site has more than 1.3 million property listings spanning 49 countries, with about 84 per cent of Juwai.com’s traffic comprised of wealthy Chinese.
As well as attracting buyers from Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, the site is also used by Chinese people living in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Singapore and Malaysia.
Chinese international property buyers are also making their presence felt globally, with Juwai.com figures showing more than $US28 billion in residential property purchases in 2011, up almost 70 per cent on 2010 sales of $US18.3 billion.
In a separate deal, global professional recruiting group Hays has set up a new office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, expanding its global office base to 33 countries. The group employs about 8000 staff and brought in fees worth £672 million ($1.1 billion) for the previous financial year.
The regional director of Hays in south-east Asia, Chris Mead, will oversee the office. “The opportunities that we see in Malaysia’s vibrant economy really excite us,” he says.