If you’re trying to sell an apartment – or a whole apartment building for that matter – in Britain, start looking at China. That’s the news from those in the know, as the real estate market in China is booming. In mainland China, property value has increased eightfold in three years and just three months ago families were told that they could only purchase two properties each to deter speculators.
Mainland Chinese, as a result, have set their sights overseas. England is seen as a safe haven and as a perfect place to get educated. It’s also seen as a great investment for the Chinese, since Sterling is down 30-40% from its peak.
Eyes on London
As Steve Dawkins said, ‘The Chinese are almost only interested in London, as it is the part of the UK they know something about.”
For instance, Mainland Chinese account for 10-15% of all of the overseas buyers at Ballymore’s Pan Peninsular at Canary Wharf. James Barnes of Ballymore actually predicts that mainland Chinese investments will increase from this to the point where they are 25-30% of all overseas sales.
Impediments to Investing
However, Chinese investors do find certain impediments to their desires. As James Talbot, who heads the Savills South East Asian sales explained, there are many obstacles that are keeping more Chinese investors from coming to England. Such obstacles include currency restrictions, visa issues and lack of understanding of English law.
In contrast, he said, “An awful lot of supposed Chinese sales are actually to people from South East Asia. Malaysians and Hong Kong Chinese are very familiar with British institutions and are doing most of the buying.”