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China was the largest outbound property investor of 2016

May 31, 2017

Defiant of capital flight controls

Chinese investors accounted for 47 percent of all Asian outbound real estate investment in 2016, according to a recent report by CBRE.

Around USD28.2 billion seeped out of the Middle Kingdom last year, in defiance of a growing raft of capital outflow curbs from Beijing

“Despite recent policies by the government restricting Chinese outbound investment, there continues to be a steady flow of Chinese capital overseas as investors seek to diversify their portfolios,” said Yvonne Siew, executive director at CBRE Global Capital Markets.

While Chinese investors may remain active in deploying capital into offshore real estate assets, investment flows this year could moderate, CBRE researchers predicted. “Instead of larger transactions, Chinese investors may simply opt for a higher number of smaller deals,” Siew said.

“Regardless, Chinese appetite for global real estate investment will remain solid but more cautious, with Chinese insurers and qualified Asset Managers being the active institutional investor class.”

More: Shanghai usurps Tokyo as APAC’s top property investment destination

After China, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea made up the biggest sources of outbound investment capital flows from Asia. Overall, Asia figured in six of the 10 biggest outbound transactions of the year.

Of all destinations for Asian capital, the US emerged an overwhelming favourite for a second year in a row. It attracted 43 percent of all real estate investments, with a significant uptick of Japanese investment.

“We expect Japan to step-up overseas investment in the year ahead as they are coming off a low base,” noted Robert Fong, director of research at CBRE Asia Pacific.

New York City supplanted London as outbound investors’ most preferred metropolitan destination, with Hong Kong, Seoul and Sydney rounding out the top five. However, the foregoing cities only comprised 37 percent of all investment flows, suggesting that Asian money is being spread more evenly around the globe.

Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) drew 27 percent to become the second favourite region among Asian property investors. Among themselves, Asian investors poured 23 percent of capital last year, compared with 21 percent in 2015.

CBRE offers a great visualisation of the comings and goings of Asian property investment flows last year.

Credit : Property Report

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