Chinese buyers: More searching for ‘bargains’

Chinese buyers are already making their mark in Thailand, but this may only be the start.

A senior real estate analyst, speaking at an event in China this week, noted how Chinese property buyers and investors are increasingly looking at Thailand for their property investments.

Head of Global Real Estate at UBS, Kim Wright, said that Chinese property investors are choosing Bangkok over Australia and the United Kingdom for “bargain” real estate investments.

“Chinese buyers of overseas property tend to be very price and currency aware, so their focus on specific markets will fade or pick up depending on those factors,” she said.

She added that demand for property in Australia had cooled among Chinese buyers, and that this was like the loss of interest in London property in late 2015 when buyers felt the market had peaked.

At that time, tax changes and tighter capital controls further put them off, she added.

Speaking at the UBS Greater China conference in Shanghai, she explained research indicated that China’s tighter capital controls were a factor in Chinese overseas property investments, but were by no means a driver for reduced demand.

In a UBS survey, some 55 percent of Chinese property investors said tighter controls impacted them, but half of these respondents said the controls had encouraged them to bring forward purchases.

The other half said it would slow their buying.

Research also discovered that two thirds of property purchases were made by cash buyers.

Wright, explaining the Chinese interest in Bangkok, said: “”I am not sure if that’s a function of the One Belt One Road initiative and people are seeing the infrastructure spend and the co-operation, but also the price point is pretty attractive.”