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Juwai reveals top 10 Chinese buyer picks for Q4 2015
By Juwai, 13 April 2016
Chinese buyers broke records worldwide with their property-shopping spree last year, but where exactly were they searching and investing in?
We give you a quick lowdown on the latest top 10 picks of Chinese buyers in terms of countries and cities as viewed, searched, and enquired on Juwai.com in the last quarter of 2015.
Top 10 countries favoured by Chinese buyers
Once again, the US dominates as the #1 choice, followed by Australia, Canada, and New Zealand to round up the top four countries most viewed and enquired by Chinese buyers in Q4 2015.
Now here is where it gets interesting. While Thailand and the UK took the fifth and sixth spots respectively on the list of most viewed countries, their positions were reversed when it came to Chinese buyer enquiries.
Japan, Spain, and France had varying positions on both charts as well.
Singapore, which was the tenth most viewed country by Chinese investors, slid off the list of most enquired countries to be replaced by Germany, which didn’t even make it to the first list.
We explain why below.
Chinese buyers, a fast-changing market
As the world’s largest and fastest-growing group of international property investors, it’s vital to note that Chinese buyers are a fluid and fast-changing market.
This is not to say that Chinese buyers are fickle or capricious. It’s just that Chinese are savvy investors, and often conduct their research well beforehand as well as throughout the whole investment process.
From asking friends and families, to scouring the Internet and utilising the power of social media for information and recommendations, they then compile their research before making their final decision on which countries and cities to invest in.
Hence, one should not be surprised to find that where Chinese investors initially search for may vastly differ from where they eventually enquire about, and subsequently finally invest in.
Top 10 cities searched by Chinese buyers
Beyond country level, we delve deeper and share the top 10 cities most searched by Chinese property investors in the US, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and Europe on Juwai.com.
United States (US)
The Chinese love for the US comes in epic proportions, making the US the #1 destination not only for property investment, but also for education, medical, and emigration for many years.
Spending $28.6 billion on American properties in total, the top five American cities most searched by Chinese buyers continued to be Los Angeles, New York City (NYC), San Francisco, Seattle, and Chicago.
Houston, Boston, and Orlando climbed up the ranks though, while Irvine dropped from sixth to the ninth spot.
More fascinating is that Detroit has clambered into the list – striking former San Diego (formerly in the ninth spot during Q3 2015) completely from the list.
The natural bounty of the Land Down Under has made it a constant favourite with Chinese buyers, even more so with the comparatively weak Aussie dollar against the Chinese yuan.
Other drivers include Australia’s quality education, attractive lifestyle, low-risk business environment, and of course, it’s large and mature Chinese population.
Even as Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane retained their top three spots, other cities are coming up fast. Perth overtook Gold Coast, while Adelaide was a non-mover at #6.
Cairns and Canberra swapped spots to take the seventh and ninth spot respectively, while Newcastle and Sunshine Coast were two newcomers that replaced Launceston of Tasmania (former #8) and Toowoomba of Queensland (former #10).
Like Australia, New Zealand’s breathtakingly beautiful nature has stolen the hearts of plenty a Chinese buyer.
Famed for its clean and healthy air and food, New Zealand’s popularity was further bolstered a few years ago when the famed Chinese reality show, “Where Are We Going, Dad?” (爸爸去哪儿), brought the cast to Rotorua in 2014.
Where have Chinese buyers been eyeing in New Zealand though? Juwai Data sees Auckland, Christchurch, and Queenstown enduring as the top three cities searched by Chinese buyers.
While Taupo and Oamaru each jumped to the fourth and fifth spot respectively, Wellington and Tauranga dropped to rank sixth and seven.
Three new cities gaining Chinese buyer interest though, are Paihia, Wanaka, and Greytown – these three cities edged out Napier, Blenheim, and Waiheke Island to claim the remaining three spots on the top 10 list.
United Kingdom (UK)
Yet another perennial pick of Chinese property investors, the UK deserves to be mentioned on its own.
Beyond its reputation for quality education and safe investment, the UK is also a popular due to several reasons: China President Xi Jinping’s state visit late last year, which led to a surge of Chinese interest in the UK and the British Monarchy, as well as TV dramas that have gained a massive fan base in the UK, such as Sherlock.
London continues to reign as the choice destination for Chinese buyers. Manchester, Liverpool, and Birmingham garnered a surge in Chinese searches to hold the second, third, and fourth places, respectively.
Former #2 Glasgow dropped to fifth place, while former #5 Brighton plunged five spots to be ranked tenth. Meanwhile, newcomer Oxford replaced Surrey (former #6) on the list, even as Edinburgh, Cambridge, and Leeds each rose slightly to claim the sixth, eighth, and ninth spots.
Elsewhere in Europe, notwithstanding the UK, Chinese buyers have increasingly shown interest in newer emerging markets – even in far-flung reaches of Europe, such as Russia.
With the Chinese yuan staying strong against the Euro, we foresee Chinese investor interest to remain strong in Europe. Here are the 10 cities receiving much Chinese love lately.
Berlin (Germany) held steady at the top, while Paris (France) and Athens (Greece) both rose by one spot in rankings to claim the second and third spots.
Big jumpers were Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and Valencia (Spain), who both leapt three spots to be fourth and fifth on the list. Meanwhile, Barcelona (Spain) dropped two places to take the seventh spot, while Monaco rose slightly to take the sixth spot.
Interestingly, former second-placed Pasphos (Cyprus) completely slid off the list, as well as former #6 Makarska (Croatia) and former #10 Ayia Napa (Cyprus). These cities were replaced by newcomers Vienna (Austria), Lisbon (Portugal), and Kabanskiy Rayon (Russia).
Chinese eyeing emerging markets
One thing is clear with all these changes listed above: Chinese buyers are increasingly diversifying in search of better opportunities and higher yields.
From casting their eyes upon new or emerging markets to looking at fringe and tier-2 cities, Chinese investors are now adventurous and enterprising enough to give these housing markets a go.
This is also a natural result as Chinese continue to evolve into becoming more sophisticated buyers and intrepid travellers. And as their world continues to open up, they begin to see investment opportunities abroad in a new light, and one can only wonder where the incessant Chinese demand for overseas properties would bring them to next.
How would these rankings change in the next quarter? Where would be the new Chinese buyer hotspot? We'll keep you in the know with the next quarterly update.