As China eases its strict COVID-19 border controls, pent-up cash is starting to flow abroad, with real estate agents and property data from Australia to Singapore suggesting that Chinese demand is helping to boost property prices. Chinese students are also snapping up apartments in Sydney and Melbourne, and agents say that Chinese interest is ticking up in Thailand.
Enquiries from regional Asia property investors have doubled since the borders opened, especially from the Chinese, said Ian Chen, founder and chief executive of Jalin Realty, which operates in China, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore. “Most of the investors who are buying now are those who just need to get some money out. We are not seeing a big wave, but definitely there is interest and a lot of enquiries – especially from students who are coming back to Australia.”
Chinese investors diversify their investments
Rich and middle-class Chinese have long sought to move some wealth abroad to diversify their investments and keep some assets beyond the reach of authorities, just in case. Real estate is one of the most popular assets for Chinese investors, with property prices in China having risen dramatically over the past few years. However, the Chinese government’s tax rules and criticism of wealth accumulation make investing abroad more attractive.
Chinese demand boosts Singapore property prices
Singapore is seeing a surge in Chinese demand for property, with prices rising as a result. Chinese buyers are attracted to Singapore’s safe-haven status, its proximity to China, and the city-state’s stable political and economic climate. According to data from property consultant Edmund Tie, Chinese buyers accounted for 80% of the 77 luxury homes sold in Singapore in the first quarter of 2021.
Chinese students snap up apartments in Sydney and Melbourne
Chinese students are also contributing to the surge in demand for overseas property, with many buying apartments in Sydney and Melbourne. According to real estate agents, Chinese students are attracted to Australia’s world-class universities and quality of life, as well as the country’s relatively affordable property prices. Chinese buyers accounted for 12% of all new property sales in Sydney in the first quarter of 2021, up from 8% in the same period last year.
Chinese interest ticks up in Thailand
Thailand is another country that is seeing increased interest from Chinese investors, with real estate agents reporting a rise in enquiries. Chinese buyers are attracted to Thailand’s low property prices, as well as its beautiful beaches and warm climate. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit Thailand’s tourism industry hard, which could affect the property market in the short term.
As China’s strict COVID-19 border controls ease, demand for overseas property is on the rise, with Chinese investors looking to diversify their investments and move some of their wealth abroad. Singapore, Australia, and Thailand are all seeing increased interest from Chinese buyers, with property prices rising as a result. However, the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy remains uncertain, and investors should proceed with caution.