Why Chinese Investment in Overseas Real Estate Has More Than Doubled

August 18, 2016, 7:04 AM UTC
Houses for sale at the 2009 US-China Real Estate summit &
BEIJING, CHINA - 2009/04/11: Houses for sale at the 2009 US-China Real Estate summit & trade fair in Beijing. Under the new EB-5 Visa program, more and more US real estate agents come to China to sell houses, in an effort to weather the financial crisis. Chinese investors are welcome now because they have accumulated big amounts of cash and are easily attracted by new green card policy. Rich Chinese people tend to send their children to American for their education. (Photo by Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Zhang Peng/ LightRocket via Getty Images/ File

Chinese invested $16.1 billion in overseas real estate in the first half of the year, more than double the amount in the same period last year, real estate consultancy CBRE said on Thursday.

The United States remained the most popular global property market for Chinese investors, while hotels and offices were the most sought after types of real estate, CBRE said in a statement.

Half of the investment came from Chinese insurance companies, with conglomerates and property developers also actively investing overseas, representing 23% and 10% respectively, of the total figure.

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“Concerns over the market slowdown in their home market have led Chinese investors to seek a safer investment environment which offer higher potential returns,” said Ada Choi, senior director of research at CBRE Asia Pacific.

She expected Chinese investors will remain active overseas in the second half, but said the growth is likely to be at a more sustainable rate rather than a quick acceleration.

See also: This Is Why China’s Housing Market Is Such a Mess

Talking about overall outbound real estate investment from Asia, CBRE said some experienced investors have started to invest in alternative sectors such as student housing.

“Office investment continues to be an easily understood and managed asset class for most investors. However, as cap rates continue to compress globally, investors are starting to seek out higher yielding opportunities in secondary locations or ‘alternative’ real estate sectors, such as student housing,” said Marc Giuffrida, executive director of CBRE Global Capital Markets, in a statement.