Chinese nationals have become the largest foreign buyers of US property after pouring billions into the market in search of safe offshore assets, according to a study.
A huge surge in Chinese buying of both residential and commercial real estate last year took their five-year investment total to more than $110bn, according to the study from the Asia Society and Rosen Consulting Group.
The sheer size of that total has helped the real estate market recover from the crash that began in 2006 and precipitated the 2008 economic crisis, they said.
Chinese investment in property has also helped to inflate prices in other developed countries, notably the UK and Australia in the wake of the dip in world stock markets in 2015.
And despite a slowdown due to Beijing’s subsequent clampdown on capital outflows, the figure for the second half of this decade is likely to double to $218bn, the study said.
“What makes China different and noteworthy is the combination of the high volume of investment (and) the breadth of its participation across all real estate categories,” including a “somewhat unique entry into residential purchases,” the study said.
The authors of the study said their numbers, based on public and real estate industry data, understate the total. They necessarily miss purchases made by front companies and trusts that do not identify the sources of the funds.
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