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Q & A with Ouwens Casserly’s Hao Chen about the Chinese buyers’ market

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Every real estate agency is aware of the importance of Chinese investment, but some are doing more than others to accommodate this increasingly important market segment.

Independent SA property firm Ouwens Casserly Real Estate is one of several agencies to have set up a division focused on the Chinese market.

According to Ouwens Casserly, the firm has established strong connections to Chinese buyer databases. In addition, agency co-founder Alex Ouwens is on the board of the Australia China Business Council and has direct access to the migration department so that Ouwens Casserly assist wealthy migrants to purchase and develop property.

To find out more about how Ouwens Casserly is meeting growing Chinese demand in SA, we reached out to Hao Chen, who heads up the division along with his colleague Sarah Pan.

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SA REN: Could you please tell us about the Chinese market in South Australia?

Chen: The Chinese market is a very important part of South Australian real estate. Not only has it created some competition in the market place but it has certainly helped revive some of Adelaide’s suburbs.

SA REN: What drove you to focus on this part of the market?

Chen: I am of Chinese background, so there is a natural connection between me and this part of the market regarding language and mentality. There are also some cultural differences which I can bridge in communication.

SA REN: Has your international strategy been a big point of difference for you in the market?

Chen: It has certainly been a big point of difference with the sections of the market that are of interest to the Chinese community. At Ouwens Casserly we have had a holistic approach, it’s been a whole company focus of which I play an important part. The company and all of the sales team have really embraced our focus on the Chinese market.

SA REN: How many enquiries are you receiving each week from Chinese buyers?

Chen: It varies week to week but generally between 10 – 20 a week.

SA REN: Which suburbs do you find Chinese buyers are attracted to in Adelaide?

Chen: Mainly the eastern and southern close-to-city suburbs. Most of my clients are very specific about the areas as well as the properties that they are interested in.

SA REN: How successful has this program been?

Chen: The International program has worked well within Ouwens Casserly as we have had the opportunity of building great relationships with the Chinese buyers. These relationships are very important in helping to build trust and putting together these buyers with properties that suit their needs.

SA REN: Do you see this market growing in Adelaide?

Chen: I think there is always going to be a need for assistance for some Chinese buyers as it isn’t always the language barrier that makes it difficult for them to buy property. Sometimes it is purely cultural.

SA REN: Chinese buyers are known to love Melbourne and Sydney. What factors are drawing them to SA?

Chen: The easy and relaxed lifestyle. Relatively low cost of living. The multicultural mix and the affordability of the real estate. The same reasons we all love Adelaide.

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