Chinese New Year in Cairns. PICTURE: STEWART McLEANTHE prospect of high-class education in a safe, clean and beautiful natural setting is a major drawcard for Chinese investment in the Far North.Data from property company Juwai shows Cairns was the eighth most searched Australian city among Chinese real estate investors in 2015 and 2016.But Katy Zhou, principal of Cairns’ GBR Realty which specialises in Chinese investment, expected the city’s ranking to rise over the next few years.“At the moment a lot of Chinese parents are sending their children to study in Australia, and many of them are looking at Cairns,” she said. “I’m having inquiries from parents of primary school children. They are asking how they can purchase property in Cairns.”Ms Zhou said the Far North’s reputable private and public schools, combined with the region’s pristine natural environment and affordable housing, made it highly attractive to the Chinese middle and upper classes.“The pollution in China is so bad, and many people are looking at moving overseas to get away from it,” she said. According to Juwai, education was the top motivator for more than 25 per cent of Chinese buyers who looked at investing in Cairns.More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms3 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns3 days agoMelbourne tops the list of most viewed cities among would-be Chinse investors, followed by Sydney and Brisbane.Juwai chief executive Charles Pittar said Chinese residents perceived Cairns property as being a safe long-term investment. “Cairns at eighth is well down the list for Chinese buyer activity,” he said.“Compared to the big capital cities, it receives significantly fewer Chinese buyer inquiries. “For its size, however, Cairns is doing well. Even a small increase in Chinese investment could bolster the struggling market.“Every vendor out there today should be asking how their agent is marketing their home to Chinese buyers. “Chinese buyers are on the whole realistic. They know that real estate in a smaller regional city like Cairns has fewer growth drivers than does capital-city property. “Some buyers are willing to accept the risk and believe they may be buying bargains that will be worth much more in 10 or 15 years.”Mr Pittar said the majority of Chinese inquiries about Cairns were for “mid-range” properties, worth from $300,000-$500,000.