US property top of the list for wealthy mainland Chinese

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 July, 2013, 2:51am

The US topped 35 other countries worldwide as the most searched market by wealthy mainland Chinese, according to a Chinese-language real estate portal that lists more than 2.2 million properties across 53 nations.

New York is the most popular area among American destinations, followed by San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles and Orange County, says going by online property viewings and inquiries on the website in the first four months of this year. founded by Australians Andrew Taylor and Simon Henry about two years ago, gets 1.4 million visitors a month.

Other popular countries searched by the Chinese include Australia, Britain, Singapore and Canada. In Australia, mainland Chinese showed the most interest in Sydney. The most popular destination in Britain is London and in Canada it is Vancouver.

"US has always been No1," said Taylor, co-chief executive of adding that mainland Chinese in the past would search properties in Malaysia and Singapore but have now diversified geographically and are moving upmarket.

"We have just got an inquiry for an Australian property valued at A$8 million (HK$56.9 million)," he said.

Some 168,000 mainland Chinese looked at the US market in the last 10 days, followed by 84,000 people in Australia and 32,000 in Britain, Taylor said.

The top five mainland cities where they checked out properties were Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Linfen, he said.

Lifestyle, emigration, investment and education are the most common motivations driving Chinese investment in global property, according to Taylor.

The number of people with more than 10 million yuan (HK$12.54 million) of investable assets was more than 700,000 as of the end of last year, according to a report released by China Merchants Bank and consulting firm Bain in May. The total investable assets held by them reached 22 trillion yuan last year.