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Chinese Are Dominating The International Real Estate Market Without Even Leaving China
Brief:For some Chinese investors, the first step to purchasing millions of dollars in property on the other side of the globe is a lot like ordering a new t-shirt online – search and click through instant messengers.
For some Chinese investors, the first step to purchasing millions of dollars in property on the other side of the globe is a lot like ordering a new t-shirt online – search and click.

Social media is the catalyst, connecting Chinese buyers and overseas agents. At least one prospective buyer entrusted an agent with $US100 million to invest in residential housing. Others bought houses in Houston or plots of land in Colorado, sight unseen, according to real estate agents.

As property prices cool in Hong Kong and Singapore, which have long been magnets for Chinese investment, more money is flowing to real estate markets such as New York, London and Sydney. Chinese have overtaken Russians for the first time as the biggest buyers of apartments in Manhattan, according to real estate brokers.

Chinese buyers invested $US13.5 billion in overseas property last year, compared with $US6.3 billion a year earlier, according to real estate consultancy Savills.

China’s social media platforms such as QQ, WeChat and Weibo are hugely popular among younger property buyers, many of them 20-something scions of China’s wealthy families. They are driving a new phase of Chinese outbound property investment that is expected to grow 20 per cent per year in the coming decade.

“Social media is immediate and familiar to the buyers, it’s a way to connect people without formality and without introduction. And then you have a little connection,” said Joel Goodrich, a San Francisco-based agent who specialises in luxury real estate.

 
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