Luxury property purchasers come from many backgrounds, but they have one thing in common: cash So who is doing all the buying in Beijing's property boom? The image that comes to mind may be of a high-flying expatriate plus spouse and two children, or an American-born Chinese family plus mother-in-law, and in many cases this is probably accurate. But increasingly, mainland buyers are equally keen for a slice of Beijing?s luxury housing market. The influx of foreigners on the back of China?s booming economy has done much to fill vacancies, in the rental market particularly. A recent FPD Savills report on the Beijing residential market noted: 'Thanks to WTO, Beijing?s economy is prospering and multi-national corporations from the insurance, automobile, petroleum, logistics and banking sectors are all active, bringing more high-level expatriates to Beijing. Hong Kong investors have also come to Beijing since Cepa [the Closer Economic Partnership arrangement] came into effect earlier this year.' The core of the purchase market remains locals, and increasingly ethnic Chinese from abroad who want to make Beijing their foothold in the homeland. There is also a strong trend of Chinese buyers keen to have property as a long-term investment. 'Among the people who choose to buy and live in their own houses, most are of Chinese descent, Singaporeans, Hongkongers and Taiwanese, for instance,' says Luo Yang, a property consultant from Beijing Waveland Realty. ?As for the local people, more choose to buy instead of renting a house.' Caroline Moulin, research manager at Jones Lang LaSalle-Beijing, says the majority of buyers are local Chinese from Beijing and other provinces, who make up around 70 per cent of the market. 'Then 25 per cent of the buyers are Asian people from Taiwan, Hong-Kong, Singapore, etc. The remaining five per cent are foreigners from Europe and North America. In the more international areas in the East, approximately three-quarters of purchasers have an overseas background: They might be overseas Chinese, Chinese returnees, have studied abroad or are married to a foreign partner.' Moulin adds: 'With China's increasing market transparency and deregulation, demand from foreigners, especially Asians ? mainly Japanese and Korean ? will increase rapidly.' The government has been keen to dampen speculation in the property market, but remains eager to support its development, and tax incentives for residential purchases are one of the things attracting Chinese buyers. ?The Chinese government has passed regulatory incentives for residential purchases, reducing taxes levied on rental income from the previous range of 20 per cent and 14 per cent, to 12.6 per cent and finally to five per cent of rental income,? says Hans Galland, marketing manager at Jones Lang LaSalle-Beijing. Lawrence Wood, chairman of the China Property Development Fund, sees no problem with the creditworthiness of buyers in the luxury segment of the market. ?Our buyers are mostly foreigners, but there are also other developers. They pay cash ? 40 of our units were sold all-cash. 'Many are overseas Chinese buying for their parents. We also get a special type of buyer who wants to take care of the next generation.'