Australia’s Luxury Real Estate Market Expected To See Influx Of International Buyers In 2022

While border closures resulting from COVID have slowed Australian property sales to international buyers, experts predict that the luxury market may perk up in 2022 as travel restrictions relax and ex-pats return to the country.

waterfront apartment building with arched bridge in the background

As travel restrictions ease, the appetite for prime properties such as the units at the waterfront Bennelong Apartments will be strong. (PRIVATE PROPERTY GLOBAL)

“Travelers from New Zealand and Singapore who are inoculated against Covid-19 will be able to enter New South Wales and Victoria, Australia’s two most populous states, from November 21 without quarantine,” explains Ken Jacobs of Private Property Global in Sydney. According to a recent travel update from the Australian Government Department of Health, fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents can travel overseas without an exemption. There will also be reduced quarantine requirements for travelers when they return to or enter Australia.

luxury penthouse in australia looking out on sydney harbor and bridge

This top-shelf penthouse, listed as “price upon request,” takes in 270-degree views of Sydney Harbor and other landmarks. (PRIVATE PROPERTY GLOBAL)

“We are fielding inquiries from ex-pats coming in over Christmas who are looking to purchase while here. There is certainly pent-up demand from both ex-pats and foreign purchasers,” Jacobs notes.

view of sydney harbor at night with glowing lights and boats

A shortage of quality stock has created “pent-up demand” for Australia properties, Jacobs says. (PRIVATE PROPERTY GLOBAL)

Jacobs believes pent-up demand is “due to a shortage of stock, which has been compounded for travel restrictions for international buyers because of the 14-day hotel quarantine requirement.” That two-week mandated hotel stay has eased up Jacobs reports. “We are seeing increased demand from ex-pats in Asia, United States, and the UK. Now that a number of ex-pats can enter Australia without the requirement of a 14-day hotel quarantine, there is increased contact from buyers who intend to travel to Australia over the Christmas/New Year period.”

One current listing with a “price upon request” that may appeal to those returning ex-pats is a recently listed penthouse with international appeal. Here’s an overview of the property: A premier penthouse within the coveted Bennelong Apartments with views extending across Circular Quay to the iconic arch of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Some 230-plus square meters of floor space features a functional layout for private living with three bedrooms, a stone-finished kitchen and a private study zone.

sydney polo club by the hawkesbury river aerial view

Other prized properties for sale in Sydney, Australia, include the Sydney Polo Club. Asking price: AUD 50 million. (PRIVATE PROPERTY GLOBAL)

Residents of the building have access to to first-rate amenities, including a 24-hour concierge, plus a pool, sauna, and gym. Additional contemporary comforts include secure side by side parking spaces as well as a generous storage area. In the very heart of Sydney, there are acclaimed culinary delights and cultural experiences only footsteps away.” Jacobs confides the price is priced around AUD 15-16.5 million.

According to Jacbos, the current market in Sydney looks like this as 2022 approaches: “We also have foreign purchasers inquiring on Sydney property and carrying out general due diligence prior to traveling here. There have already been several ex-pats returning permanently to Australia who have spent 14 days in hotel quarantine and subsequently purchased.”

sun setting at a polo club with a lake in the foreground

Sydney Polo Club is the country’s most prestigious polo venue and one of the premier event locations in New South Wales, Australia. (PRIVATE PROPERTY GLOBAL)

The main issue for foreign buyers is the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board restrictions which, only allow non-residents to purchase apartments in new developments. There is good news for ex-pats, though, who choose to stay in Australia. “Foreign purchasers moving permanently to Australia are able to obtain Foreign Investment Review Board approval to purchase established (previously lived in) properties,” Jacobs explains. The majority of ex-pat and international buyers are looking for family homes in the eastern suburbs and lower north shore of Sydney, and some want to buy close to private schools.

On the plus side, the travel restrictions and inventory shortages have motivated some buyers to move forward. “We have had several cases where ex-pats have purchased without seeing the property because of travel restrictions and a desire to secure a property in the rising market. One sale was at US $7 million and the other at US $40 million. In each case, the buyers knew the areas and had family members inspect and report back to them,” Jacobs said.
Look to Sydney’s property market to heat up as travel restrictions relax and buyers who have been waiting appear.


I have covered the business of real estate (both residential and commercial) for over 25 years, including more than a dozen years working in the Forbes Los Angeles bureau reporting and writing about as I call it, Adventures in Real Estate. From the first tear-downs turning into mega-mansions in Beverly Hills to luxury condos as investments in Las Vegas, I follow the ups and downs of real estate markets around the country just for the fun of it.