Investing in Co-Working Spaces in Asia: A Complete Guide

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The co-working industry has exploded in Asia and it’s currently the fastest-growing market globally.

Not surprisingly, private investors and developers alike try to profit from this new market, and the supply of co-working spaces increases steadily.

It’s not strange, as it’s said that 30% of office space will be co-working spaces in Asia by 2030. Thus, co-working is not a temporary trend, but here to stay long-term.

In this article, you’ll learn the following

  • What is a co-working space?
  • The co-working space business model
  • The co-working space market in Asia
  • How much can I earn when investing in co-working spaces?
  • List of co-working Spaces by Country and Region

What is a co-working space?

Co-working spaces are started by individuals or companies who buy or lease office space and other types of premises, such as residential buildings and villas.

The same as it goes with co-living spaces, the founders sometimes partner up with local investors or property owners, to secure capital or to reduce rents.

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Investing in Co-Living Spaces in Asia: A Complete Guide

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Co-living has become a new big trend in Asia and it’s predicted to transform the real estate markets in many countries.

Everything from established developers to individual investors try to find ways to profit from this growing industry.

Yet, before you decide to invest in co-living spaces, you must understand how the business model works practically and which countries that should be of interest in Asia.

In this article, I explain what co-living spaces are, how it works when investing in co-living spaces, about the markets in the most interesting countries, and more.

What is a co-living space?

Co-living spaces are often started by companies who partner with local property owners to reduce leasing costs, to share the profits and financial burden.

Not rarely, these companies receive funding from investors to start or expand operations.

When a company has bought or leased parts of- or a whole building, they refurbish the units and install the modern amenities and utilities needed.

The units are small and with sizes of around 9 to 25 square meters with simple, but modern furniture like a bed, a desk and a private bathroom.

Here, the idea is to spend time in the common areas, to socialize, and to engage in activities within the community. Many choose to live in co-living spaces to grow their network and to develop as persons.

Typical tenants are young persons who just arrived or that plan to stay short-term and cannot sign rental contracts stretching over 12 months.

That said, you also find locals who opt-in for co-living as it’s convenient and comparably cheap.

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7 Asian Countries Without Capital Gains Tax

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Investors often pay much attention to the taxes and fees they have to pay at the time of buying property.

Truth be told, stamp duties, VAT and real estate agent fees can become significant when added up.

But, to have a complete exit strategy, it’s equally important that you understand what taxes you need to pay when holding and selling property.

In most countries, sellers need to pay capital gains tax when selling property. The tax can be substantial, especially if the property has increased much in value.

In this article, I list Asian countries where you don’t have to pay capital gains tax.

First, let me explain what capital gains tax is and how it’s calculated.

What is Capital Gains Tax?

Capital gains tax, sometimes referred to as CGT, is collected by governments and charged to the profits made when selling assets. Might it be real estate, businesses or stocks.

In Asia, capital gains tax rates normally range between 0% to 20%, depending on where you buy. With rates that high, the tax can reduce your profits significantly.

Not to forget, you might even be subject to capital gains tax in countries where the tax is generally not charged.

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4 Asian Countries with No Property Tax

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Property taxes can have a huge impact on overseas investors’ buying decisions. With the growing interest in Asian markets, and especially developing markets, we need to keep in mind that tax rates can change fast.

Not only do developing countries change property taxes to attract more foreign capital or boost their economies. We also see sudden changes and the introduction of new taxes in places like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Korea.

This is mainly to avoid speculation, cool down the markets, and protect local citizens.

Interestingly, there are some countries that don’t charge any annual property tax to locals, or to foreigners for that matter. In other countries, the property tax is almost negligible.

In this article, you’ll learn the following:

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China Real Estate Expo: A Comprehensive Interview with Lisa Zhang

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Chinese people are keen on buying overseas property, we know that for sure. Philippines, Cambodia, and Vietnam are just a few countries where Chinese investors buy everything from a single unit up to dozens of units at a time.

Not surprisingly, many agencies and developers focus hard on the Chinese market, offering services and support in Mandarin and Cantonese.

China Real Estate Show hosts some of the biggest real estate events in China that attracts thousands of Chinese investors, willing to engage with foreign developers, agencies, and law firms.

So far, events have been held in multiple locations, including Shanghai and Shenzhen. This time, we have a look at the next event that will be held in Shenzhen, and where the expo will open its doors to more than 130 exhibitors and 25,000+ visitors.

Info about the next event:

  • Name: Shenzhen Real Estate Expo 2019
  • Date: May 18th-19th, 2019
  • Venue: Great China International Exchange Square, Shenzhen, China

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China Real Estate Market Outlook in 2019: A Complete Overview

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China’s real estate market has grown immensely the past years and accounts for 30% of the total GDP. We’ve seen both ups and downs in the market, with a big correction in 2015-2016.

With an economy that has slowed down, and with an escalating trade war with the US, it will be interesting to see how the market is set to perform in 2019.

In this article we take a look at how China’s real estate market has performed the past years and what my predictions are for 2019.

How has China’s real estate market performed the past years?

China’s real estate market is one of the fastest growing in the world and a main driver of the Chinese economy. As prices have surged since the 2000s, setting foot into the housing market has become popular to gain wealth.

Many of the luxury goods and sports cars you see in places like Shanghai (I’ve seen plenty of them) are bought with money made from real estate.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, first-tier and second-tier cities like Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Beijing have seen higher increases of residential house prices.

To give you an overview, I’ve listed the average real estate prices in RMB/square meter from 2013 to 2016 below. The numbers speak for themselves.

Shanghai real estate prices (RMB / Square meter)

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Buying Property in Guangzhou: The Basics You Need to Know

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Guangzhou is one of the largest cities and an economic powerhouse in China.

With proximity to Hong Kong and Shenzhen, Guangdong has become a melting pot and one of the richest provinces in China, thanks to these three cities.

Guangzhou has a long history, both culturally and economically indeed, something you should read more about if you’ve not already done so.

In this article, I explain the basics you need to know when buying property in Guangzhou.

Guangzhou real estate market

Located in Guangdong, Guangzhou is the third largest city and an economic powerhouse together with Shenzhen and Hong Kong, in the Southern region.

With an old history of trading and commercial activity, not surprisingly, Guangzhou is one of the most bustling areas in China, attracting investors and expats.

As I’ve written in my separate articles about buying property in Shanghai and China in general, prices have increased much during the past years, making price to income ratios very unbalanced.

So how is the government trying to resolve this issue? Building a massive amount of rental units is the way forward and one of the hottest topics spoken about in the media, the fact is that the rental market is highly undeveloped in China.

Property prices in Guangzhou

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Top 10 Property Developers in China: A Complete Guide

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China is one of the fastest growing countries in the world and has developed rapidly the past decade. The real estate market has also increased immensely, bringing wealth to locals who decided to invest early.

If you’re a foreigner and plan to buy property in China, you might want to buy off-plan or a new unit directly from a developer. Or maybe it’s just good to know more about the developer who built that newly finished building.

In this article, I’ve listed some of the biggest residential property developers in China.

1. Vanke

Founded in 1984, Vanke is one of the largest property developers in China with its head office located in Shenzhen, China. Worth mentioning is that Vanke is also included in the 2017 “Fortune Global 500” companies.

In addition to building 1800 residential projects in more than 60 Chinese cities in the last three decades, it’s engaged in different residential and commercial projects in Malaysia, UK, the United States and Hong Kong.

Vanke has been ranked as one of the top three property developers for a number of consecutive years, with tens of billions of dollars in earnings each year, proving that it’s a big player in the industry.

Property types

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Buying Property in Shanghai: The Basics You Need To Know

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Shanghai is the financial hub and Chinese city that has deserved the most attention in the past decade.

There are not many articles covering the topic how foreigners can buy property in Shanghai, so I decided to write one myself.

In this one, you’ll learn more about regulations to foreign ownership, Shanghai’s property market, average prices, popular real estate agents and more.

Can foreigners buy property in Shanghai?

I’ve already written a complete article explaining how foreigners can buy property in China.

Even if regulations are similar on a national level, prices have soared in Beijing and Shanghai, which has resulted in some additional requirements. Below I’ve listed some regulations to foreign ownership in Shanghai that are worth noting.

How many units can I buy?

You can buy one unit, after you’ve worked or studied in China for a time period of a year. This applies to the whole of China and understandably, you need to provide a number of documents to prove so:

  • Employment contract and tax records
  • Local work permit
  • Resident permit

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How to Buy Property in China: A Complete Guide

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Suggestion: Watch the 5 minutes video tutorial before reading this article

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Media often speaks about how Chinese property buyers flood markets in countries like Australia and Canada.

On the contrary, what many foreigners know little about, is whether you can buy residential property or land in a growing market like China’s.

In this article I explain the crucial info you need to know when buying, holding and selling property as a foreigner in China.

Can foreigners buy property in China?

You’re allowed to buy one property, but need to either study or work in China for at least one year before that. Additional requirements apply in Beijing and Shanghai.

Additionally, you can buy property directly via developers, individual sellers or an agent (which is not the case in Indonesia, where you need to buy directly from developers).

You should also buy the property for dwelling purposes, hence you’re not allowed to rent out the property and act as a landlord.

There are no restrictions to the type of property you want to buy, which is not always the case. For example, in Singapore, where foreigners generally can’t buy landed houses.

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