Chinese investment in the overseas property markets hit new heights in 2016. The latest figures from JLL’s Global Capital Flow revealed Chinese investors poured US$33 billion into commercial and residential real estate last year, an increase of nearly 53 percent year-on-year.
High profile deals, especially portfolio acquisition in the United Sales, resulted in the hotel and industrial sectors registering the largest increase in Chinese investment. Significant transactions include the purchase of Strategic Hotels and Resorts by Anbang Insurance for over US$6 billion; China Life Insurance’s portfolio purchases of the Starwood Capital Group and an office tower in Manhattan; the HNA Group completing its acquisition of Carlson Hotels and a 25 percent stake in Hilton Worldwide.
Land acquisitions also saw a rise of 44 percent as Chinese developers targeted Hong Kong, Australia and Malaysia in particular. Chinese property group Boyuan Holdings bought 40.5 hectares in Western Sydney for A$70 million while Country Garden invested while Chinese state-owned firm Minmetals bought a residential site in Yau Tong, Hong Kong, for HK$4 billion on August 3.
But it is unlikely for investments this year to hit the same volume as in 2016 . “We do believe that Chinese investors will continue to be major movers of capital into global real estate for many years to come,” says David Green-Morgan, JLL’s Global Capital Markets Research Director. “But a similar increase in 2017 may be challenging given the recent discussion about China monitoring its capital outflows.”
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