Chinese investor buys Otford property for $1.4m

An Otford property, with an indoor lap pool, has sold for $1.475 million to a Chinese investor.

Ray White Helensburgh director Simon Beaufils clinched the sale in the same week in which a high-level Chinese business and banking delegation toured Wollongong.

The tour, organised by the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet to encourage investment, took in some of the major private and public-sector developments in the city centre.

Although the sale of the Otford property, at 30 Lady Wakehurst Drive, was not connected to the delegation’s visit, the two events are further proof that the Illawarra property market is on the radar of Asian investors.

According to a recent Credit Suisse report, Chinese buyers are expected to purchase $44 billion of Australian residential property between 2013 to 2020. This is up from $24 billion over the past seven years.

The bank said close to a fifth of new properties in Sydney had been sold to Chinese investors this year.

Mr Beaufils has sold properties before to Chinese Australians whose family members can help with the negotiations.

Yet the latest sale, which involved a client who divides his time between China and Australia,  was different in that there were language complexities and communication largely took place through emails.

Mr Beaufils was contacted to help find the businessman a property which ticked all the boxes.

‘‘He was looking for something which had these features: being high up, views to the ocean, reasonably sized block of land, and reasonably sized home close to Sydney,’’ he said.

The client was sent a shortlist of properties in Mr Beaufil’s portfolio and the Otford one was selected.

According to its listing, the home has a 17-metre indoor, solar-heated lap pool, an enormous bedroom ‘‘fit for a king’’, three double bedrooms, four bathrooms, study, parents’ retreat, art room, two living rooms and a dining area that opens out to a large wrap-around balcony.

Set on 6500 square metres, the Tuscan-style rendered executive home has a bush outlook and the Royal National Park to the north. Its coastline views span 180 degrees, south to Wollongong and beyond and north towards Sydney.

‘‘It was difficult to get a time for him to look at the property because he was travelling between here and China,’’ Mr Beaufils said.

‘‘We eventually got an appointment to view the property. He brought down his family, and in addition to that we had a second inspection in which he brought down additional family and over a period of a week negotiations took place and resulted in an agreed price.’’

Mr Beaufils said the client lived in Sydney yet he was buying the property for colleagues in China.

‘‘There were a number of communications and meetings before we were able to discuss business and I think he had to go through the due process of feeling comfortable with me and my business before he would even contemplate doing business,’’ he said.

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