Individual and corporate investors in China have been buying properties in major cities in Europe, especially in London for a number of years. Following the recent turmoil in the stock market of China, many European markets are welcoming a further influx of Chinese investors.
Prolifically Chinese investors already invest in real estate assets in Europe and worldwide, and recent years have seen China's activity in foreign investment markets are increasing rapidly. In 2009, the total value of property abroad owned by Chinese investors - both private and corporate - stood at $ 600 million according to the best estimates of Knight Frank. Last year, this figure had risen to about US $ 15 billion.
London is a particularly popular market among foreign investors, including Chinese buyers of properties. According to Savills, 70% of real estate in London, which was sold in 2014 went to a foreign buyer, and these transactions were for a total of £ 14.6 billion. Chinese investors make up a significant portion of this, second only to the US in total investments, especially at the high end of the market. Chinese investors put a total of £ 2.2 billion in property in London last year, and accounted for 11% of all transactions worth more than a million pounds. As recently as 2012, the latter figure was only 4%.
Chinese investors are taking an interest in all property types, including commercial, residential and mixed developments, as well as the location assets such as hotels and student accommodation. China's interest in all sectors a trend continues to rise, even without the prospect of an increase in investment driven by internal problems of the stock market of China. A series of recent high-profile and high value deals have been announced. Chinese state-owned developer Greenland Group Holding is investing £ 1.2 billion over two residential development projects in London and, last summer, China Construction Bank paid £ 110 million to acquire property in the heart of the city. While London is a particularly well favored market, the Chinese investment boom is far from being a UK-only phenomenon. Real estate agencies in countries such as Spain and Germany have also reported that investment by individuals and Chinese companies is increasing.
Leaving aside the strong investment growth is now expected, increasing Chinese investment in foreign ownership has been reduced to a series of factors (and it is these same factors are expected to maintain the upward trend beyond any short-term increase coming from recent market activity. China's property market itself is slow moving, leading many investors to seek more easily in property abroad than at home. The economic crisis also played a paper. When he arrived, Chinese investors moved to diversify their portfolios in terms of currency exposure, and this remains one of the main attractions of investing in the UK and Europe. Others have been taken to invest in foreign properties not only as an investment but as a future way to move abroad themselves, driven by health care and air pollution problems in the home.