Chinese non-residents buying property in Australia are being directed to a local lender through a lead generation deal between the bank and a mainland property website.
Mortgage Business understands that Juwai.com – a website that allows Chinese nationals to search for properties overseas – has entered into an exclusive agreement to provide mainland mortgage leads to the Australian lender.
“We have a lead generation partnership with an Australian lender,” Juwai.com global head of communications Dave Platter told Mortgage Business, however he would not name which bank the company provides leads to.
Industry figures have pointed to HSBC Australia Limited. However the bank would not comment on the rumour.
“HSBC does not comment on rumour or speculation,” HSBC spokesperson Tala Jahangiri said.
Juwai.com’s Mr Platter said that the Australian lender is seeing results from the leads, but could not provide any further details.
“But it is successful and I can tell you that Chinese are acquiring financial services in Australia, including mortgages,” he said.
“I think there is an opportunity for all lenders here.”
The website hosts 1.5 million visitors per month, 82 per cent of them from mainland China.
In the US, industry groups have reported that 70 per cent of Juwai.com users looking to purchase property in the US are cash buyers.
“In terms of what they are looking at, the United States is the top country and Australia is second at the moment,” Mr Platter said.
“In Australia, no one has actually done the hard work in terms of statistics, but we estimate that 60 per cent are cash buyers, based on what we are seeing and hearing,” he said.
“Chinese buyers will be looking to obtain financing from Australian mortgage providers,” he said, adding that opportunities also exist for those providing a suite of financial services.
Apple Home Loans lending manager Nick Ni said Westpac has been the most aggressive of the majors in writing loans for Chinese non-residents.
“We get a lot of demand from mainland Chinese wanting mortgages,” Mr Ni said.
“Westpac is very aggressive and trying to grab market share,” he said.
ANZ is also aggressively attracting Chinese buyers, given the fact that they have opened branches in China and in their overseas non-resident loans, Mr Ni said.
“Citibank and Bank of China are also very active in the overseas resident loans,” he said.
Bank of China’s Australian subsidiary, Bank of China (Australia) Limited, has a mortgage distribution agreement with Apple Home Loans independent of its aggregator.
“We use AFG’s lender panel, but Bank of China is a different channel,” Mr Ni said.
“They approached us because we are Chinese brokers,” he said.