What are Chinese real estate buyers investing in abroad?

With increasing wealth and a fascination for all things Western, Chinese investors are making waves in the property markets of countries including the UK, USA, Australia, and Canada. Chinese investors currently have combined overseas assets of $6.4 trillion, and research suggests that by 2020 this figure will be almost $20 trillion (source: Financial Times). As overseas investment grows so does the opportunity to market to Chinese real estate buyers. Just what are Chinese investors looking for overseas?

Strategic properties

While there is still plenty of investment purely for the purpose of generating a decent return, the Chinese are also participating in strategic real estate investment which can create opportunities and open doors to Europe and other developed countries. Portugal was a favourite amongst many Chinese real estate investors (ranking number eight globally) due to its new laws which meant that foreign investors who spent more than €500,000 on a property were allowed to live in Portugal, applying for Portuguese citizenship after six years, with the freedom to travel throughout the EU. Such privileges made investing in Portugal an appealing move, for students as well as business owners.

Chinese buyers were looking for properties in Canada and Thailand for similar reasons. Chinese business people vacationing in Thailand could easily build up the contacts necessary to tap into the 500 million strong South East Asian market (source: Forbes).

Holiday homes

Many Chinese real estate buyers are simply interested in finding somewhere they can relax, unwind, and escape from the heavily populated major cities. In the USA Chinese real estate investment is popular in California, Florida, New York and Texas, amongst others. Texas is attracting Chinese visitors due to its warm climate and the current low cost of property. Here, real estate investors are looking for single family detached homes which they plan to use for more than six months (source: Wealth daily).

There are many reasons why Chinese investors are looking for property abroad. Government restrictions on second and third homes are forcing wealthy Chinese to look elsewhere. And while the people in China are becoming wealthier, Chinese cities are becoming more cramped and more polluted. Many Chinese want to live abroad in order to find a cleaner, healthier environment in which to spend their time, and with an average budget of 2million yuan, they have the resources to do so (source: South China morning Post).

Chinese real estate buyers – a high-value, high growth market

Wealthy Chinese are looking for all different kinds of real estate investment opportunities. From well-off families choosing a second home to provide a better quality of life, to the large consortiums aiming to inject billions of pounds into the British economy through regeneration projects in cities such as Birmingham (source: Birmingham Post), there is a huge pot of Chinese money earmarked for foreign investment. Someone has to earn it: will it be you?

(Image source: Image created by renjith krishnan | www.freedigitalphotos.net)