A new report by Juwai IQI, which is a company that helps Asian buyers purchase cross-border property in more than 90 countries around the world, tracks the impact of the Coronavirus on Chinese cross-border real estate buying. They wanted to determine how COVID-19 is impacting Asian real estate.
- Chinese consumers have made more real estate buying enquiries during this period, but their on-the-ground activity in destination markets is at a near standstill.
- When the virus is at last under control, the pent-up activity may result in an unusually large number of transactions over one or two quarters, as buyers complete delayed transactions.
- Healthcare and good governance to become more important for Chinese buyers of cross-border property. Health experts rank Singapore, Japan, and Greece surprisingly low on health security, which is their ability to manage viral outbreaks.
Juwai IQI Executive Chairman Georg Chmiel said:
“Chinese invest nearly $120 billion in international real estate. That’s the estimate for 2017, the most recent year for which we have data.
“In several real estate markets, we already see negative impacts from the epidemic. Many people have stopped travelling and are limiting their public activities. As a result, in real estate markets around the world where Chinese buyers are usually active, we see a reduction in the in-person presence of Chinese buyers at auctions, a similar decrease at inspections and open houses, and the stalling between contract signing and final settlement of some transactions involving Chinese buyers.
“When the Coronavirus is brought under control, the pent-up activity may result in an unusually large number of transactions over one or two quarters, as buyers complete delayed transactions.
“Until now, healthcare and medical systems have been a top-five priority for Chinese cross-border real estate buyers. Healthcare has been especially important for retirees. That is one reason Thailand is so popular with Chinese retirees.
“After the epidemic, we expect healthcare to be even more important to buyers. Countries like Thailand, the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia, which have good healthcare systems and highly ranked abilities to react to viral outbreaks, are likely to benefit from an increase in buyer activity.
“Surprisingly, some countries that are very popular with Chinese buyers and are generally considered to have good healthcare systems rank relatively low for health security. Health security, as defined in the Global Health Security 2019 report, is the capacity to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to public health emergencies such as a viral outbreak. The report was issued by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and The Economist Intelligence Unit.
“Japan ranks only 21st in the world for health security. Malaysia ranks 18th. Greece ranks only 37th. The UAE ranks only 56th. All of these are popular countries for Chinese buyers.”