Chinese overseas property buys breach USD100b-mark for the first time


Will outbound investment levels in 2017 exceed last year’s?

Flight above Shanghai at sunrise. chuyuss/Shutterstock

Last year marked “the first time in history” Chinese buyers acquired more than USD100 billion worth of international real estate, reported this week.

Real estate purchases by mainland Chinese topped an unprecedented USD101.4 billion in 2016, the Chinese property portal’s “A Sea of Money” report showed.

“The 2016 total represented more than a quarter increase over 2015 and an 845 percent surge over five years,” said chief of operations Sue Jong.

The United States emerged as the greatest recipient of investment from mainland China, with a share of USD50 billion in capital outflows from the country last year.

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Australia and Hong Kong were rated second and third most-favoured countries for mainland Chinese investment, respectively.

“Current trends suggest that Chinese property investment this year will be on a par with the levels of 2015, at about USD80 billion,” Jong revealed. “That would make 2017 one of the top two or three years in history.

“So while levels are lower than in 2016, they will still be extremely high by any standard.”

Runaway rates of capital flight and depleting foreign reserves have compelled the mainland Chinese government to prevent individuals from moving out more than USD50,000 in a year and forbid mergers and acquisitions valued over USD1 billion, among other measures.

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