Chinese interest in London’s property sector grows

Chinese interest in London’s property sector continued to surge in the fourth quarter last year, despite the Brexit referendum and the Chinese government’s capital controls.

In the fourth quarter of 2016, Chinese investors made 22.5% more buying enquiries than in the third quarter, data from Juwai.com, a website for Chinese private buyers interested in international residential and commercial property revealed.

The buying enquiries also increased by 228.2%, compared to the fourth quarter of 2015

“Since the Brexit referendum, we’ve seen a strong recovery in what had been a declining growth rate of Chinese buyer interest,” said Charles Pittar, chief executive of Juwai.com.

“That rebound has weakened some in the fourth quarter but is still substantial.”

Fourth quarter enquiries grew at 22.5%, quarter-on-quarter. In the third quarter, the growth rate was 75.8%.

Pittar said Chinese buyers - who have not only been buying premium and trophy properties, but also more modest student or investment properties - were helping the market avoid a steeper slowdown.

No significant impact of government controls

He said the Chinese government’s capital controls had not had a significant impact on the market.

“We have seen some anecdotal data that it’s causing some head scratching as people try to work out the real impact on their own investment plans,” he said. “But the number of buying enquiries made has kept growing.”

Pittar said he was not too concerned about capital controls.

“When discussing capital controls, remember that Chinese have been limited to just $50,000 of currency a year since 2007 and they have been barred from using that money for property,” he said. “Yet, they are the biggest offshore buyers of property in the UK, US, Australia, Canada and many other countries.”

Pittar said the company’s fundamental analysis was that the long-term attractions of the UK market would continue to attract Chinese buyers.

“China’s international property investment is at all-time highs, and we believe that it will set new records in the years to come.”

Related Articles

Have your say

Sign in to make a comment on this story.

Sign In

Text size

Desktop Site | Mobile Site