Australia is the top overseas destination for Chinese property hunters in the first half of this year, according to real estate firm Juwai IQI’s latest ranking.
Chinese appetite for property Down Under topped their interest in other popular markets like Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, the report said, based on the number of buyer inquiries received on the platform.
The United Arab Emirates, which ranked 13th in 2021, shot up to eighth place. Germany fell out of the top 10, which included four Southeast Asian countries.
Meanwhile, Chinese demand is likely to grow as international travel resumes, according to Kashif Ansari, group chief executive officer and co-founder of Juwai IQI. A significant portion of real estate transactions are still dependent on buyers being able to go abroad, though outbound travel has yet to rebound to pre-pandemic levels due to limited airline capacity and expensive fares, he said.
A sustained exodus over the next few years will likely continue to drive Chinese property investments abroad. About 712,000 people from the country will migrate to the U.S, Canada and Australia from 2023 to 2025, the report estimated.
President Xi Jinping’s push for “common prosperity” means China’s wealthy have been flocking to more welcoming places like Singapore or setting up a backup plan, while three years of harsh COVID Zero restrictions have added to reasons to relocate. Capital flight from the mainland could reach US$150 billion this year, as more people park their money abroad for fear of additional measures at home.
While Western countries have long been a mecca for Chinese immigrants, Southeast Asia has emerged as a hotspot for high-net-worth Chinese individuals, with governments rolling out a plethora of ‘golden visa’ programs that fast-track investors and professionals to residency.
Chinese citizens are the biggest source of demand for golden visa programs across the globe, which can allow people to stay as long as 20 years.
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In 2021, Chinese accounted for 46 per cent of approved applicants in two of the most popular programs: Greece and Australia. They made up 31 per cent of approvals for Portugal.