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6 reasons why Golden Week will be bigger this year
By Juwai, 10 August 2015
The second Golden Week of the year – China’s peak season and gold rush for travel and real estate sales – is fast approaching, and this year’s week-long National Day holiday will be bigger than ever.
For the uninitiated, Golden Week is where approximately 760 million Chinese1 get an entire week’s worth of public holiday twice a year.
The first Golden Week happens during the Chinese New Year celebrations, while the second Golden Week kicks off on 1 October in celebration of China’s National Day.
Usually, over half of China’s entire population is on the move during this time – a phenomenon China has become notorious for.2
And while most tend to travel domestically back to their hometowns or to other parts of China for a family staycation, a burgeoning number of Chinese – especially high net worth individuals (HNWIs) – are now increasingly choosing to travel outbound.
Close to 5.2 million Chinese went abroad during this year’s Chinese New Year Golden Week alone, spending roughly US$22.4 billion overseas.3
Golden Week: Biggest opportunity for property hunting of the year
There’s nothing more that Chinese like to do when on holiday abroad than to kill two birds with one stone – by embarking on a property spree while travelling on holiday.
For context, property is burnt in Chinese consumer’s investment psyche, as it has for many years been one of the few available investible assets and, historically, has been a great way in the minds of Chinese consumers to both make money and show status.
Real estate is the most preferred choice of investment for Chinese millionaires4, and 66% of China’s HNWIs tend to invest more than ¥3 million in overseas property.5
That puts property at the top of the shopping list for many Chinese tourists who are travelling overseas over the Golden Week holiday.
6 reasons why agents should pay heed to Golden Week this October
On top of what we mentioned above, here are six reasons why National Day Golden Week will be especially crucial for international agents and brokers this year.
#1 Golden for longer in 2015
Mid-Autumn Festival, a three-day Chinese holiday will occur later than usual this year on 27 September6– allowing workers in China a rare chance to enjoy a longer holiday by pairing it with the National Day celebrations. In other words, more incentive to travel internationally!
#2 More Chinese are heading overseas for holidays
Total overseas trips made by tourists from China are expected to top 120 million in 2015, up 10% y-o-y7, and as a destination gains more popularity for tourism, so does its popularity for property investment.
A prime example is current Chinese tourist favourite, Japan – travel bookings for mainland Chinese tourists to Japan have more than doubled since last year, with over 380,000 Chinese travellers visiting the Land of the Rising Sun this May alone.8
Japan’s housing market grew 6.32% around the same time, a remarkable feat considering most Asian markets – asides from Japan and Hong Kong – have been on a slump.
Coincidence? We think not.
#3 A stronger yuan makes overseas property more affordable
Look at Australia, where the yuan appreciated 21% against the Australian dollar since July 2014. Chinese property investors surged in the land Down Under, where property is now much cheaper thanks to the robust yuan.
Europe, where the Euro has declined 20% against the yuan, has also been savouring massive Chinese investor interest. (Find out where else the yuan is impacting property investment here.)
#4 Fewer restrictions on investing overseas than ever before
Buying overseas property is easier than ever before for mainland Chinese with the following power combo: China’s relaxed restrictions on overseas investment, easier visa application processes for Chinese travellers, and attractive policies offering residency in return for property investment.
#5 International property increasingly popular aspiration in China
With an increasingly international outlook, overseas property has become a realistic ambition for upper-middle-class Chinese, whose numbers and household wealth have been growing in leaps and bounds.
224.9 million upper-middle-class and affluent Chinese are predicted to emerge in China by 2022 – up from 43.5 million in 2012.9
With their legendary appetite for property abroad, this could mean exponential growth in Chinese outbound property investment.
#6 Overseas properties a more attractive investment option
Chinese investors are increasingly seeking better opportunities elsewhere, and for many, property abroad is the way to go. Our Juwai Q1 2015 Global Property Index report showed attractive y-o-y price growth in up-and-coming locations in Europe, led by Ireland (17.6%), Estonia (9.6%), and Sweden (8.8%).
Kickstart your Golden Week campaign
Needless to say, it’s time to gear up for Golden Week now. Building up your activities around Golden Week might seem daunting, so here are three pointers to get you started:
#1 Get online!
China has an online population of 649 million users10,– that’s two times the population of the United States, mind you.11 It’s the first place Chinese go to research anything, so getting your brand a solid presence is the first – and arguably most important step – toward cracking the Chinese market.
#2 Tailor your property tours
Besides offering tours of properties in your areas of coverage, switch things up by offering them side visits to local attractions or showing them the best the area has to offer. Many Chinese are looking for a lifestyle and not just a property, so making sure they see what all the area has to offer will be essential.
#3 Go that extra mile to make your clients feel comfortable
If they have last minute requests or need to be pointed to the nearest ATM, putting in the effort to make sure they’re taken care of will make them feel valued, and can make a world of difference for the trust they place in you.
With less than 2 months to go, it’s time to hustle if you want to take advantage of the Golden Week travel boom. Need more pointers? Check out more Golden Week tips here!
Sources: 1. Statista: Total workers in China; 2. The China Tourism Academy; 3. China National Tourism Administration; 4. Hurun Report “Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey 2015”; 5. Hurun Report “Immigration and the Chinese HNWI 2014”; 6. Travel China Guide; 7. People’s Daily; 8. Ctrip.com; 9. International Business Times; 10. Statista.com; 11. CNN
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