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Chinese Property Investors Set for Hotel Grab in 2016
Brief:Chinese property investors will shift their attention to hotel property in 2016.
The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York operated by Hilton is now owned by Chinese
insurance giant, Anbang.
Chinese property investors might have favoured residential property in Australia but that is all about to change. 
The next 12 months will be the year Chinese investors also turn their attention to commercial property, in particular hotel investments and development. 
"From what we can see, some might diversify into commercial investments, there's a significant commercial investment inquiries over the past few months, due to less restrictions and regulations [in commercial properties]," director of a Chinese property website, Esther Yong said. 
New investment house, specialising in technology and property investment for Asian institutional and high net worth investors, Taronga Group said it has observed "unprecedented interest from across Asia seeking quality hotel and leisure based investment in Australia."
"This is logical, with astute investors positioned to take advantage of the rapid growth in Asian discretionary spend on tourism and leisure experiences outside their home markets," managing director Avi Naidu said.
A Chinese property marketer has forecast sustained or increased Chinese cross-border investment in hospitality in 2016, especially in the US, Australia, Europe and the Middle East. 
They are tipping global hospitality investment by Chinese to grow between 5 and 15 per cent more than 2015 investments. The countries of interest will be the US, Australia and the UK.
2015 has set the scene for things to come.
Worldwide hotel sales reached $42 billion in the first half of 2015 and will reach between $80 billion and $90 billion by the end of the year - up from the 2014 full-year total of $60 billion. 
Globally, China was the second most active investor globally, growing from $100 million worth of investment in 2012 to more than $5 billion this year.
Chinese investors also topped the global headlines for hotel purchases in the last 18 months after Chinese insurance firms Anbang Insurance paid a cool $US1.95 billion ($2.68 billion) for the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York and Sunshine Insurance picked up another New York five-star luxury hotel, the chandellier-filled Baccarat Hotel for $US230 million ($317 million). 
A Chinese property marketer said, based on inquiries, that the types of Chinese investors interested in hotels would be insurance companies like Anbang, large developers such as Dalian Wanda, which already have a presence in Sydney, and investment consortiums, family funds and high net worth investors. 
"Chinese insurance companies have been emboldened in 2015 by a higher investment threshold, easier approval process and a reduction of red tape," Mr Henry said. 
"And large developers are snapping up hotel development sites at a rapid pace, especially in the US, Australia and the UK."
One of the largest Chinese insurance companies, Ping An has already made its debut in Australia as a joint venture partner with a residential developer. 

The Australian Financial Review

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