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Developers turn to Asia for sales

The Australian

The Australian
By Sarah Danckert
27th June 2013

AS Asian developers continue to hold court in Melbourne’s apartment market, some of the city’s most successful private developers are priming their offshore networks, including property expos, to sell apartments.

Earlier this month Little Projects, the company set up by former Toll boss and multi-millionaire Paul Little, sponsored a major apartment expo in Hong Kong, while Eddie Kutner’s Central Equity – known for its offshore sales networks – is marketing its next Melbourne mega apartment project in Singapore and Salvo Property Group’s Platinum tower, launched only last month, is already half sold after extensive marketing in Asia.

The tours come as apartment prices fell 4.4 per cent in May, with the rate of return for investors falling to a mere 2.5 per cent, according to RP Data.

Little Projects managing director Michael Fox (a former Toll executive) said the group had long used its offshore networks to market some of its projects to investors, including events such as the Smart Investor expo in Hong Kong it recently sponsored.

“There’s a lot of competition. We make no bones about the fact that we’re actively marketing offshore, and we’ve been very good at it,” Mr Fox said. “The experienced campaigners like us have a number of ways that they market overseas. You can spend a lot of money for good results, but other companies can spend a lot of money and not get the same results.”

Little Projects’ success in offshore campaigns was in part due to the company’s vertically integrated model (a model that was highly successful at Toll), which includes a real estate agency arm that looks after leasing.

Several of Central Equity’s largest apartment projects in Southbank have been marketed overseas, as has the group’s house-and-land packages in outer Melbourne. The company’s next mega apartment project, Southbank Grand, is being soft-launched in expos in Singapore, China and Malaysia before being officially launched in Melbourne this month.

A spokeswoman for Salvo Property Group confirmed that the Platinum Project had been marketed overseas.

“Platinum has been well received by offshore and local buyers, and Salvo has very strong offshore networks,” she said.

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