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Top News This Week: Mandarin's rise, Singapore and more
By Juwai, 06 December 2013
Mandarin Chinese, the language of tomorrow
With the world’s nearly 2 billion Chinese language speakers and China on its way to be the world's largest economy – Mandarin seems set to be the new lingua franca of the future.
In 2011, Bloomberg reported Mandarin as the most useful business language after English. Recently, British Prime Minister, David Cameron openly advocated the language as well – urging UK youths towards China's official language over the traditional French and German languages.
"I want Britain linked up to the world's fast-growing economies. And that includes our young people learning the languages to seal tomorrow's business deals," he said. Cameron's advice dovetails with the new national curriculum, which makes foreign language studies compulsory in primary schools.
There are also some 500,000 ethnic Chinese residing in the UK, making it the largest overseas Chinese population in any European country.
Cameron is also expanding a UK-China School Partnerships programme that funds headteachers for China study visits, while the British Council is working to increase Chinese language assistants in the UK and providing incentive funding for schools offering Mandarin classes.
Dampening Singapore, rise of Manila
Elsewhere in the world, a Singapore's real estate market is dampening, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report. While Singapore is one of the priciest property markets in the world, low interest rates propelled a price hike that led to cooling measures by the government.
Furthermore, there has been oversupply, tighter regulations, expected higher interest rates, and compressed capitalisation rates. Some are still optimistic though, expecting better returns with low vacancy rates and potentially higher rentals.
A rising destination, however, is Manila, with expectations from investors of higher interest rates and returns.
Manila also has a fast growing economy, improved transparency and governance, a young demographic and strong capital inflows from citizens working overseas.
Top US cities of interest
In the US, CNNMoney reports top cities of interest to Chinese buyers, according to the latest Juwai.com data. Backed by the booming Chinese economy, Chinese continue their foray overseas, and New York and L.A. top the list of US cities
Buyers choose cities based on various reasons, though. Large Chinese communities are found in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Diego, while other cities offer reputable education prospects for their children.
Ultra-rich Chinese pick economically strong cities, as they seek US properties to diversify their investment portfolio.
Meanwhile, Detroit and Memphis offer investment opportunities to generate predictable and steady cash flow – many purchase foreclosures and inexpensive homes with tax sales, then they fix up the property to rent out.