Asia-Pacific will remain the favoured investment destination among Chinese property buyers in 2020, after they shifted their attention to the region last year, analysts said.
Inquiries for Asia-Pacific residential properties last year made up 57 per cent of the total queries tracked by Juwai.com, a property portal, a fivefold surge from a year earlier. Inquiries about homes in the Americas made up 17 per cent of the total, while inquiries about homes in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania, and Europe and the Middle East, each made up 13 per cent.
In 2018, Chinese buyers were primarily interested in real estate in the Americas (35 per cent), Europe and the Middle East (28 per cent) and Australia, New Zealand and Oceania (26 per cent).
“The huge scale of growth in Asia-Pacific dwarfs that of the other regions. The centre of gravity for Chinese buyer activity has decisively shifted to Asia-Pacific,” said Georg Chmiel, executive chairman at Juwai. “Chinese real-estate buyers have reacted to uncertainty and risk by choosing markets that are closer, require less capital, and offer better yields. The Asia-Pacific region – and especially Southeast Asia – ticks all three boxes.”
While American and UK property might get a boost from the US-China trade deal and Brexit, respectively, Asia-Pacific remains more attractive to Chinese investors, Chmiel said.
Bargains are aplenty. A luxury flat in markets such as Thailand and the Philippines can be bought for US$100,000, while a similar property in Sydney will cost US$600,000. In Queens, New York, entry prices for new condos range from US$650,000 upwards.
“There’s always a demand for more Asian real estate coming from mainland China and Hong Kong,” said Danny Broadfield, associate director of international project marketing Asia at CBRE. “There is more appetite for markets in Southeast Asia because of what is perceived as bigger room for growth, compared with the more mature markets of the UK, Australia and the US.”
Broadfield too said positive developments with regard to the US-China trade war and Brexit would not shift the attention of Chinese buyers to US and UK property to a large extent. “There are still a lot of questions in both of these situations,” he said.
He said Vietnam and Malaysia will be top investment choices of Chinese buyers, given that the former is fast becoming a major manufacturing hub in Southeast Asia, while the latter is really pushing its “Malaysia My Second Home” programme to attract foreign real-estate buyers.