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Chinese investors cash in on overseas markets
Brief:Mainland property investors turn their eyes to the overseas property market.
Mainland property investors have been turning in growing numbers to more transparent and stable Western markets since the beginning of the year to cash in on falling prices and weaker currencies.

Australia, Britain and Canada are the most popular destinations for the investors, and Japan's property market - considered to be at the bottom of a market cycle - is also a popular option, analysts say.

"They are attracted by stable yield returns, lower risks associated with mature markets, and transparent legal systems that protect buyers‘ interests," said Lina Wong, managing director of property consultancy Colliers International's east and southwest mainland division.

Wong said this interest in offshore property markets was likely to become more common among mainland investors because of Beijing's recent policies to cool real estate prices.

And buyers are looking elsewhere. Data from consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle show that 70 per cent of central London's property purchases were made by overseas investors in the past 12 months. Chinese buyers, including those from Hong Kong, accounted for 7.5 per cent.

James Thomas, head of the company's London residential team, said Chinese investors were buying in the city because they believed the market offered value for money. "They can also keep their property for their own use, leasing, or for their kids," he said.

Thomas said he expects fewer European investors in the London market, while the proportion of Asian - and especially Chinese - buyers will continue to grow as the balance of the world economy shifts to Asia.

South China morning post

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