Chinese buyers

How mortgage brokers are helping migrants chase the Australian Dream

PHOTO: Chinese property investors. FILE

Australia’s net migration rate has historically been one of the highest in the developed world, with the population growing by almost 1% per year in the decade before the pandemic struck.

The idea of home ownership, the Australian Dream of the Hills Hoist on the quarter acre block, is central to integration and becoming an Aussie, and the goal of the millions of new migrants that have come to Australia in recent years.

For brokers, being able to interact with this community is vital and understanding the unique situations that many have – both in terms of where they have come from and what they do in Australia – is crucial to make the most of opportunities.

With that in mind, Australian Broker spoke to two experts who deal predominantly with migrants, and with their unique circumstances.

Wally Ayad is managing director at Mortgage Providers, a brokerage based in Bankstown, and with Ijarah Finance, an Islamic finance company that provides halal-compliant loans to Muslims. Chris Zhang is a finance specialist and mortgage broker at MoneyQuest in Burwood, VIC.

“Most of our clients are from non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB), a mix of Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Southeast Asia. There’s quite a fair bit who are the children of migrants as well,” said Ayad.

How brokers can make the Australian Dream a reality

“What you’ll find with people is that there is a tendency to help one another, especially parents and siblings, there’s plenty of gifts and offers of family guarantee to help them get into the property market. There’s an encouragement from family and family units to help fellow family members to buy a property.”

“There is a massive rush into the property market at the moment, not just in Sydney or Melbourne, but nationally.”

“We run a secondary business, not Islamic finance, called Mortgage Providers, and that’s been trading for 18 years. The level of enquiries from Islamic finance coming from a non-English speaking background is significantly higher than our Mortgage Providers enquiries.”

“There’s a big move from these communities to go in and solidify themselves in the property market. Even with multiple properties: I’ve got some who are up to their 10th property and more.”

The importance of property in Chinese communities can’t be overstated, said Chris Zhang.

“Chinese people think that property is one of the biggest investments of their whole life,” he explained. “It’s like that in Australia, but Chinese people treat property as the most valuable thing in their life, pretty much, apart from their family and children.”

“Home and family are pretty much equal. If you don’t have a secure place to stay that belongs to them, they probably won’t have a happy family. The last thing they want to default is a mortgage. They don’t want to lose it, because it’s so important.”

Helping Chinese property investors to understand the Australian market

“When they come to buy property here, they’re happy to sell a property in China to come here and buy a place in Australia. They’ll spend their life savings in China to find a property that they want to stay in to make their family happy.”