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Chinese apartment buyers shift from Australia to UK

Zhang Biao, a 32-year-old Chinese entrepreneur, has already thought about where his eight-year-old will go to university. ÒWe thought a flat overseas would be a good investment, and our son could use it for sixth form or university in Australia or the UK,Ó he says. Mr Zhang and his wife put an offer down on a A$600,000 (US$460,000) flat in Melbourne in October, only to be told that they were no longer eligible for the 60 per cent loan-to-value mortgage they had applied for. Instead they decided to pay upfront for a £120,000 flat in the English city of Liverpool. ÒChinese buyers are increasingly nervous about Australia because of recent instability in regulation, tax and bank lending rules,Ó says Esther Yong, co-founder of ACproperty, a Chinese language property portal. ÒA lot of Chinese who bought apartments off-plan three years ago are now finding it difficult to find finance as Australian banks have blocked lending to foreign buyers.Ó

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