We interrupt our usual coverage of US housing to look at a fascinating and different RE market: Purchases of homes in other parts of the world by wealthy Chinese.
The FT is reporting that:
“Well-heeled Chinese property buyers are making their mark on housing markets worldwide. Some 475,000 Chinese have assets of $1m or more, according to the wealth management strategy firm Scorpio Partnership. This means China has the fourth-largest number of high net-worth individuals (HNWIs) in the world. More good news for estate agents is the fact that China’s HNWIs keep one-fifth of their assets in property.
Beijing limits its citizens to taking $50,000 out of the country each year, but many thousands of Chinese quietly skirt round these capital controls. It is tough to pin down how many buyers there are and how much they spend, because their desire to stay under the radar means they can be secretive. Most money finding its way overseas is channelled through Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous special administrative region (SAR), where Chinese can invest freely.”
I wonder how long it will take before the Chinese assume their role of the 21st century ugly Americans . . .
NYT, November 12 2010