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2015 was not a great year for China. The Chinese stock market collapsed multiple times in 2015, often falling to 5 percent or more in a single day’s trading. The Chinese economy in general has slowed down by quite a bit. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it cools down the high expectations that people had from China and sets the country on a more moderate growth path, which might actually help it in the long term.
But the fall in China’s stock market has alarmed a number of wealthy Chinese and made many eager to take as much money as possible out of the stock market and invest in the overseas property market in Europe. Estate agents have reported a flood of enquiries for the best European properties from China.
The Chinese are looking at popular overseas property destinations such as Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Greece. They are also looking at Bulgaria, Cyprus and Turkey and other European nations.
The demand is huge and countries such as Spain, Portugal and Greece that offer incentives such as the Golden Visa to non-EU nationals for buying properties of a certain value have benefited greatly. Many Chinese have been attracted by the Golden Visa offered by these countries, which guarantees them long-term residency permits as well as travel rights across the Eurozone.
Chinese investors have been scarred by the stock market crash in China and are looking for safe havens abroad, such as France and Italy that have relatively stable economies and where the property market is not known to suffer from the same volatility or turbulence as seen in many other countries in Europe.
There is a certain permanence attached to buying a property in France, whether it is a high end villa or apartment in the South of France or a beautiful ski chalet in the French Alps. When you buy a property in France, it is something you hold on to for generations.
Spain really excites Chinese buyers, who love everything about Spain – the climate, the laid back lifestyle, the culture, the history, the general ambience about the place and much more. Paloma Perez Bravo of Engel & Voelkers talks about the growing interest in Spain from Chinese buyers: "Three percent of overseas buyers were from China in 2013. The following year it was 3.4 percent. We don't have the statistics for this year yet, but we expect it to be about 4 percent. So Chinese buyers are increasing year-on-year. In Q2 this year, we had many Chinese buying houses in Madrid. In Q4 2014, it was a very good time, as a lot of Chinese people came to ask about properties."
What about Turkey? Turkey receives over 300,000 Chinese tourists each year. Turkey is very popular with the Chinese and the political relations between Turkey and China are excellent. Hundreds of rich Chinese have purchased properties in Turkey. They like the fact that Turkey is a fast growing economy, much like China and has a diverse culture and rich history. Turkey has a vast coastline and beachfront homes in Antalya and Bozburun are very popular.
Wealthy Chinese buyers don’t mind paying more for luxury villas and apartments. Greece is one country they are looking at very closely because luxury properties in Greece are today available for a bargain, because of the turmoil in the Greek economy. A beautiful beachfront mansion on the island of Rhodes, for example, which was worth $25 million before the crisis today sells for just $5 million. There are great bargains, such as that to be had in all Greek Islands, such as Mykonos, Crete, Samos, Kos, etc. And guess what, the Chinese are buying!
If you need to buy or sell overseas property online contact the experts today.