Chinese Buying Abroad: Who Benefits from the Shifting Focus?

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Carrie Law, Juwai.com CEO shares more on the Chinese reaction

Latest UBS Evidence Lab survey by UBS Securities Asia Limited shows that 3,403 mainland Chinese shows growing interest in Japan and SE Asia, specifically Thailand, with their channel checks suggesting Vietnam is also on Chinese buyer’s radar.

Data from Juwai.com also reveals that in 2017, Thailand is in the 3rd spot as one of the preferred destination for the Chinese to buy properties after United States and Australia, with Vietnam in the 9th and Malaysia in the 10th spots.

Carrie Law, CEO and Director of Juwai.com, the no. 1 Chinese international real estate website and the exclusive international real estate partner to Chinese online giant Tencent, said, “Southeast Asia has been gaining Chinese buyer market share faster than any other global region since early 2017.

“The top Southeast Asian countries for Chinese buyers are Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines. Even smaller countries like Cambodia are seeing very rapid growth in Chinese buying — although from a much smaller base.

“In 2016, only three Southeast Asian countries made it into the top 15 for Chinese buyers, and none made it into the top five. Last year, five made it into the top 15. Thailand alone jumped from 6th place to 3rd, bypassing Canada.

“The biggest drivers are the lower prices in these countries and the fact that they seem to have government blessing as Belt and Road Initiative countries. Capital controls are constraining the amount Chinese buyers can spend, so they have turned to lower priced countries and lower priced property even in high-cost countries like Australia.”

Law said Chinese buyer inquiries on Malaysian properties in the first three months of 2018 were up 103% from the same time a year ago. Inquiries in April rose 120% from a year ago, she added.

“If there is no change, we expect Chinese investment in Malaysian property to continue to grow in the months and years to come. Chinese acquisitions could at least double by 2025,” she added.
Closer to home in Gelang Patah, Johor, is the Forest City development by Country Garden Pacificview which is a joint venture project between China and Malaysia cementing a standard demonstration zone of “One Belt One Road” in Southeast Asia.