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Taking Advantage Of Covid-19, Chinese Rich People Stepped Up Their Acquisition Of Global Real Estate

Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino, right, and other buildings at Barrage Marina in Singapore. @ Wei Leng Tay / Bloomberg

Wealthy Chinese investors are looking for luxury real estate amid a plunging real estate in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic coming from the country.

Monika Tu, the founder of Black Diamondz, an Australian company that caters to Chinese luxury property buyers, said that since March, he had sold 85 million Australian dollars ($ 55 million) in talent big production, with about half of sales for Chinese customers in Australia during the pandemic. 

It is a 25% leap over the beginning of the year. The houses cost between A $ 7.25 million and A $ 19.5 million, all located on the outskirts of Sydney's Piper.

According to data from Juwai Iqi, a real estate company, Chinese buyers' requests for Korean real estate increased by 180% in the first quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, while questions about New Zealand housing has increased 75%. Searches fell 32% in the UK and 18% in the United States.

Demand for high-end housing is driving prices in China and reducing temperatures in other markets. High-end home prices in four of China's biggest cities rose 1% in April, led by the biggest jump in two years at Shenzhen's tech hub.

Even in Singapore, where there is still a partial lock, activity still begins through online platforms. Clarence Foo, a real estate agent of APAC Realty Ltd. ERA, said three Chinese customers bought six apartments worth S $ 20 million ($ 11 million) this month. An investor spends around S $ 12 million on 3 separate 3-bedroom properties in the same project, just a 5-minute walk from the iconic hotel and casino of Marina Bay Sands.

Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie Pte in Singapore, said some buyers may want to transfer money to other countries as the yuan could depreciate further to counter Weakening of their economy.

Hong Kong used to be a favored destination due to its proximity to mainland China and fewer market restrictions. But pro-democracy protests have led many wealthy Chinese to Singapore as an alternative. 

Hong Kong luxury home prices fell 4.5% in the first quarter, double the reduction in Singapore.

Outside of Asia's major financial centers, demand is also increasing. Malaysia real estate agent Zulkhairi Anwar, who specializes in luxury real estate at Azmi & Co., said Chinese citizens are viewing apartments and chalets ranging from $ 2 million to $ 5 million in Kuala Lumpur.

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