HONG KONG, July 30 China's institutional
investment in property overseas rose 17 percent in the first six
months of this year, with residential investment surging 84
percent, real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) said
The gains come as Chinese investors pursue opportunities
outside their home turf, where the outlook for the real estate
sector is overshadowed by issues such as tight financing and
high inventories which are weighing on prices.
London was the most popular destination for Chinese
institutional investors, with a total of $2.3 billion, as
efforts by the city to draw Chinese capital into major
infrastructure projects spilled into residential and commercial
markets, JLL said.
San Francisco and Chicago followed with $548 million and
$365 million, respectively.
Sydney was fourth, followed by Madrid, after China's largest
commercial developer Dalian Wanda bought a historic skyscraper
in Spain's capital city from the nation's largest bank,
Santander, $361 million.
"For first-time overseas investors it makes sense to target
the most liquid cities, but for the more experienced, looking at
smaller less liquid markets like Spain where yields are higher
but so are the risks, it is a natural progression," David
Green-Morgan, JLL's global capital markets research director
said in a statement.
Chinese real estate outbound investment totalled $5.4
billion during the period, with commercial investment
contributing $4 billion.
JLL noted that developers and insurance companies remained
the most active investors, and while the interests mainly
focused in core office and mixed use development projects in
global gateway cities, there was an increasing interest for
hotel and hospitality products in popular Chinese tourist
The introduction of the Golden Visa in many southern
European counties has also raised the profile of these locations
among Chinese mainland investors, it added.
Separately, on retail investments, the United States was the
country most favoured by Chinese home buyers, according to
Juwai.com, the largest real estate portal that targets Chinese
buyers looking abroad, based on inquiry data from the first half
Australia ranked second and Canada third, even though it
cancelled the Immigrant Investor Program in February. The UK was
"We have not seen any measurable impact on Chinese demand
for property in Canada as a result of the ending of the
investment visa program," Juwai.com's co-chief executive officer
Andrew Taylor told Reuters.
(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Kim Coghill)