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The Year of the Horse...what's in store for the real estate market

By Juwai, 31 January 2014
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Happy Chinese New Year! Today is the first day of the new year, according to the lunar calendar.

The Chinese have been horsing around (pardon the pun) with some Chinese wordplay. A phrase roughly pronounced "Ma Shang You Fang” (马上有房), has spawned tons of horse plushies with a little house on its back, selling like hotcakes in China right now.

If you're scratching your head in confusion, let us explain.

In Chinese, the word "ma shang" (马上) literally means "something on horseback". However, it is also commonly used as a term to mean "immediately". So, while the literal meaning is "a house on the back of a horse", it also which means to “have a property immediately" — in short, the saying encourages one to buy property immediately!

This wordplay has gone viral on Chinese social media, with countless images of horses and ponies with houses on their backs humorously shared and trending on Weibo and WeChat.

However, these popular horse plushie and viral images are much more than just pure fun — it has also conjured up the idea of immediately purchasing a home overseas in this Year of the Horse. Looking at the surging housing prices, it would be hard to say some Chinese homebuyers aren't acting on this very idea!

Average housing price for detached homes on the West Side of Vancouver, Canada skyrocketed by 45.3% over the past five years, while housing prices have increased as much as 27% in the past 12 months in Sydney — almost thrice faster than the overall rate in Australia. As for the US, condo prices in San Francisco and downtown Los Angeles rose 18% YoY in December to $1,034 per square foot and $634 per square foot respectively.

Whether you believe in zodiac predictions or not, real estate agents worldwide better hustle if they want to get a slice of this lucrative Chinese market.

That said, things are said to move quickly in the Year of the Horse, so get ahead in the race! We are currently offering a Free Translation holiday promotion when you purchase your Super 100 listing package HERE.