How to Buy Property in China: A Complete Guide

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

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

We hear less about foreigners who buy real estate in China, where the property market has grown significantly in previous years. Much wealth accumulated among locals in the bigger city comes from real estate.

China might not be your best option for residential property investments and you have plenty of other options available in Asia.

Having said that, there are many foreigners who buy real estate for personal reasons in China and as they have resided in the country for a long time.

In this article, I explain how you can buy property in China as a foreigner, covering the main topics.

Topics covered:

  • Can foreigners buy property in China?
  • The Process when Buying Property
  • China Real Estate Websites
  • China Property Prices
  • Property Taxes & Fees
  • Can foreigners inherit property in China?

Can foreigners buy property in China?

China has some of the strictest foreign property ownership regulations in Asia.

You’re allowed to buy one unit as a foreigner but have to study or work in China for at least one year before that. Additional requirements apply in Beijing and Shanghai.

But, you can buy property directly via developers, individual sellers or agents. This is not always the case in other countries.

You should also buy the property for dwelling purposes, hence you’re not allowed to rent out the property and act as a landlord. Continue reading How to Buy Property in China: A Complete Guide

Top 7 Property Management Companies in Shanghai

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The property management industry is a big business in China.

This is particularly the case in Shanghai that is the home to many offices and industrial space. In fact, it’s so big that the Canton Fair has a fair solely dedicated to property management in Shanghai.

You can find all kinds of property management companies, including small and local firms to large-sized multinationals. Of course, they serve different purposes.

In this article, we focus on primarily foreign-owned property management companies. Let’s start with a company that is significantly active in the property management industry, including Southeast Asia and Eastern Asia.

1. Savills China

Savills is a leading property management company in Asia that currently has 18 offices and more than 9,000 employees in China. Continue reading Top 7 Property Management Companies in Shanghai

China Real Estate Market Outlook for 2021: A Complete Overview

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China’s real estate market has grown greatly in the past years and is a key component in the Chinese economy. We’ve seen both ups and downs with a big correction in 2015-2016, during the stock-market crash.

Currently, China’s economy has slowed down and we see an escalating trade war with the US. Besides, the COVID-pandemic had a negative on the market as countries were forced into lockdowns and investors became cautious.

With that said, China rebounded quickly and there were no restrictions of movement at the end of 2020. Besides, the country will be important for a quicker economic recovery in not only neighboring countries, but to the global economy as a whole.

In this article, we take a look at how China’s real estate market has performed in the past years and what the predictions are for 2021. Continue reading China Real Estate Market Outlook for 2021: A Complete Overview

Investing in China Commercial Property: Complete Guide

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China’s residential property market has been in limbo in the past years, at the same time, we’ve seen increased activity in its commercial property market.

With that said, China faces many issues due to a weakening economy that relies heavily on real estate, demographic challenges, and an escalating trade war with the US.

Besides, it’s not the easiest place to acquire property as a foreigner due to strict foreign ownership regulations.

In this article, we review the following topics:

  • Can foreigners buy commercial property in China?
  • The Commercial Property Market in China
  • Cities to Buy Commercial Property
  • Commercial Property Taxes

Can foreigners buy commercial property in China?

This is not a yes or no question, as it depends if you buy as a private investor or through a local company. Let’s review both options to see what kind of property that foreigners can get hold of in China.

Individual Investors

China is one of the least preferred destinations among private individuals who wish to capitalize on growing real estate markets in Asia. Most buyers of residential property buy for personal reasons.

Truth be told, China has one of the most overvalued markets in the world, low rental yields, and comparably strict foreign ownership regulations. For example, you must live there for at least one year before you can buy one residential unit.

Yes, you heard that right – one unit.

On top of that, you’re not allowed to own land like in Japan, Korea, and Malaysia. Continue reading Investing in China Commercial Property: Complete Guide

Top 5 China Property Exhibitions 2020

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Are you an overseas investor or service provider and want to attend property exhibitions in China?

In this article, we list some of the biggest and most popular exhibitions that attract thousands of local visitors and hundreds of exhibitors from overseas. The exhibitions are held semi-annually, annually, or bi-annually in major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing.

If you have other recommendations of interesting property investment exhibitions in China, feel free to write a comment below or send us an email.

Notice: Due to the ongoing issues with the coronavirus in China, exhibitions might be postponed or canceled in 2020.

1. China Real Estate Expo

Founded in 2014, China Real Estate Expo is a leading exhibition organized by Afarb Limited. It was previously held once a year, but due to a strong demand from exhibitors and visitors, it’s now arranged semi-annually and lasts for two days.

The main purpose of the exhibition is to connect international real estate developers and agencies with local Chinese investors, High-Net-Worth-Individuals (HNWIs), and brokers. Continue reading Top 5 China Property Exhibitions 2020

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

Continue reading China Real Estate Expo: A Comprehensive Interview with Lisa Zhang

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 the 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

Continue reading Buying Property in Guangzhou: The Basics You Need to Know

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 in 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 an 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

Continue reading Top 10 Property Developers in China: A Complete Guide

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 of 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 is 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

Continue reading Buying Property in Shanghai: The Basics You Need To Know