Islamic real estate down under


Never underestimate Australia. At least that’s what I’ve learnt since researching it further.

Firstly, it’s a lot bigger than you think. If it could be placed over Europe, if would completely block out the sun, all the way from Ireland and Portugal in the west to Romania in the east. Equally, it’s not far off the same land mass as the United States.

Secondly, the economy is strong. Challenged only by Holland, at least amongst developed countries, it hasn’t had a technical recession (defined as two quarters of negative GDP growth), for 25 years. Impressive. With unemployment at less than 6% and inflation at just 1.5%, it’s all under control.

The economy is dominated by mining, agriculture and education, with the latter bringing Australia to the attention of many Malaysian students who become investors later in life. Whilst the Malaysians love Melbourne with many owning apartment investments there, the institutions have acquisitions whilst not quite across Australia, are certainly wider spread, including Sydney and Brisbane.

So, whilst the Malaysian interest in Australia is fairly well known, the Middle East interest has been somewhat under the radar. That is until Islamic Finance News reported recently that Dubai based KBW Investments had invested in five Australian residential developments as part of a Shari’ah compliant structure through its Crestmount Capital initiative.

Further digging has revealed additional monies flowing from the Middle East to Australian real estate, but for some reason this hasn’t been publicised.

Whilst no doubt a newer entrant to Islamic real estate, Australia has developed the know-how and pockets of deep understanding.

The fundamentals of Australia deserve to get more attention from Islamic investors, so I would encourage real estate investors to take a look. As they say in Oz, “Fair dinkum”.

Original article appeared in Islamic Finance News.