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Where are the Chinese Investors buying overseas real estate ?

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Americas National Association of Realtors recently reported that investors from China are the most likely overseas buyers for US homes valued at $1 million and more.

For instance, Joyce Rey, executive director of US agents Coldwell Banker Previews International, says US upmarket homes are "growing in prominence as the destination of choice" for Chinese real estate investment, following close on the heels of other popular markets such as Singapore, London, and Vancouver.

"Low interest rates and good price values after the financial crisis are offering Chinese investors with an attractive return, Rey says.

Colliers International is seeing the same phenomenon in Canada's Vancouver-West and Richmond region.

"Due to China's continuous tightening real estate policies, we are expecting many more mainland investors to buy properties overseas in the future.

The growth potential for property prices in Vancouver is expected to hit 20% to 40% in the following 10 to 30 years.

Similarly, figures from Savills show that buyers from Southeast Asia - mainly from Mainland China and Hong Kong now account for 30% of all new development sales in London, making Chinese the most active in the overseas buyers in the UK's capital.

According to Randall Hall, CEO of Savills China, the "recent tightening of government policy towards Chinese domestic property investments has led to an increased appetite for overseas real estate purchases.

And the strengthening of the yuan against major currencies in the past two years has also meant Chinese buyers could acquire foreign real estate assets at a bargain."

Australia is popular too with Chinese overseas property buyers splashing out approximately Aus $71.5 million during the 2009/10 financial year, a rise of 72% on the previous 12 months of Chinese inward investment.

According to Colliers International "Chinese buyers spent Aus $30.8 million across 61 transactions in Brisbane last year, followed closely by Aus $29.3 million across 63 transactions on the Gold Coast.

Colliers international Gold Coast research manager Lynda Campbell, who has been monitoring the transactions annually since 1990/91, says this is "the largest spend recorded by China over the 20 years Colliers had been researching"

Brinton Keath, Colliers International Gold Coast director of project marketing, also believes that Asian-based buyers are attracted by the affordability of tertiary education on offer. "Parents are buying apartments that their student children can live in whilst studying at an Australian University.

And, closer to home, Chinese buyers in the Singapore property market have grown significantly in number from last year, according to agents DTZ. "In the second half of last year, mainland Chinese buyers represented a record breaking 20% of non-Singaporean buyers in the market," says DTZ.

This puts them on par with the Indonesians as the second largest group of non-singaporean buyers in the city after the Malaysians, who top the polls with 21%.

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