Wealthy Asians have invested billions in foreign real estate in recent years. Berlin is also on the list of prospective buyers.
Dhe pages of the Chinese real estate platform Juwai.com are cleverly made. There is a lot of marketing material available for English-speaking real estate agents and developers on the “great rise of Chinese consumers” who have bought everything their growing prosperity made possible in the international real estate markets over the past few years “from luxury showpieces and wineries to more modest apartments” . Juwai estimates that Chinese buyers invested a record $ 40 billion in international real estate last year.
The portal, which has recently started marketing real estate to the Chinese in the United States, Great Britain, Australia and Canada in cooperation with the second largest Chinese online retailer JD.com, suggests continued demand. Juwai calculates that the Chinese will acquire foreign real estate worth $ 220 billion in 2020. This information is also available in – somewhat bumpy – German, but English-speaking countries have been the primary target so far. According to Juwai, most inquiries from Chinese buyers in the past year were for properties in the United States, followed by Australia, Thailand, Canada, Great Britain and New Zealand. Germany, especially Berlin, ranks seventh.
The “Broker of the Month” for June, which Juwai presents on the site, also underlines this trend. The success story described by Ben Chen from Chicago is the sale of a high-rise apartment for $ 970,000 to a Ms. Ye, who bought the apartment for her daughter. Chicago is not the first city to think of when the Chinese think of real estate purchases in the United States.
Chicago is a “diamond in the rough”
The most clicks on the Juwai page in 2017 were in Los Angeles, New York City, and Seattle. Chen therefore calls Chicago a “diamond in the rough”. “Typically, most Chinese buyers go either to the west coast or the east coast, where real estate in the big cities is already very expensive,” says Chen. The firm that Chen works for in Chicago is part of the real estate agent Berkshire Hathaway Home Services network and thus part of the empire of star investor Warren Buffett. Berkshire Hathaway Home Services has listed all of its offerings on Juwai since April 2017. Buffett apparently also expects continued demand from China.
But in some countries there are political headwinds as a result. “Governments around the world have introduced new restrictions and taxes to curb speculation on house prices and address the problem of scarce and unaffordable housing,” said Christie’s International Real Estate analysts in their latest study of the luxury real estate market. In Canada and Australia in particular, where there is still relatively affordable real estate and a large Chinese-speaking population, regional governments have put the brakes on in recent years.