China has a massive real estate market and locals invest as much as two-thirds of their savings in real estate.
By comparison, US citizens invest around one-third in real estate, diversifying investments in different assets.
Due to its vast size, it’s hard to review China’s real estate market as a whole. Instead, many analysts review markets by cities and clusters.
While Shanghai has experienced a significantly overheated real estate market, cities like Wuhan have been promising.
If you’re a foreigner and plan to invest in Chinese real estate, you will most likely work with a local real estate agent.
While there are plenty of multinationals available, you can also find many small-sized agents.
In this article, we primarily review larger companies that help foreign investors with procurements of commercial and residential property. But, we will also review smaller agencies that can be suitable for individual buyers.
1. Savills China
Savills is one of the biggest real estate companies worldwide, having offices in most Asian countries. With 18 offices and more than 9,000 professionals in China, it deserves a top spot in this article.
Savills has a strong presence in other Asian markets such as Thailand and Vietnam where it primarily focuses on property management services. It’s also highly involved in commercial real estate markets.
Savills offers a plethora of services for individual and corporate clients, including:
- Office services (leasing/sales)
- Retail space
- Investment properties
- Residential sales
- International/overseas property
- Japanese business (for Japanese clients in China)
- Project development
- Property & asset management
- Valuation & professional services
- Project management
Savills has 18 offices in China, including the following cities:
2. Knight Frank China
Knight Frank is one of the largest real estate companies in the world with a strong presence in Hong Kong and mainland China. The company has more than 40 years of local experience and established its Hong Kong office in 1972.
Since then, it’s expanded to many mainland Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Taipei, and Macau.
The company works primarily with commercial real estate services but also operates in the residential property market.
Knight Frank provides services in the following areas:
- Overseas Properties
- Residential Property
- Commercial Property
- Capital Markets
- Research Reports
Looking at their commercial property services, Knight Frank helps with project management, office leases, retail property leases, hotel investments, industrial real estate investments, and more.
I recommend you visit Knight Frank’s website directly as they have offices in six different cities.
3. Joanna Real Estate
Joanna Real Estate has been around since 1993 and is a leading luxury relocation provider. Originally founded in Beijing, the company has expanded to all of China’s major cities, having 8 offices.
Having won plenty of awards over the years, the company has dozens of employees, catering to local and foreign clients.
Up until today, Joanna Real Estate has helped more than 3,000 families and works with 80 multinational corporations from all around the world.
Joanna Real Estate primarily works with residential real estate and expat-related services, focusing on the following:
- Visa & immigration
- Area orientation
- School search
- Home finding
- Settle-in services
- Departure services
Enterprise square, 228 Meiyuan Road, 28F Rm 2807-2810, JingAn District (200040), Shanghai, China
4. Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) China
JLL is one of the biggest and most reputable real estate companies globally, founded in the 19th century in the UK. JLL offers similar services as other multinationals, focusing on commercial property and corporate clients.
The company primarily focuses on office leases and provides various services in the field. They are also renowned for providing many insights and in-depth research in Asian real estate markets.
JLL offers the following services in mainland China:
- Finding & leasing office space
- Investing in residential and commercial properties
- Managing properties and your portfolio
- Design and deliver complete projects
For more information, I recommend you visit their website.
JLL has dozens of offices in China, including Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, and Guangzhou. If you live in a larger city, you’ll have no issues finding a JLL office nearby.
5. CBRE China
CBRE is the biggest commercial real estate company in the world and was originally founded in the US. The company primarily works with corporate clients and focuses on leases and sales of commercial real estate.
Operating in China since 1988, it’s a leading real estate company globally. The company has 100,000 professionals that work for clients in 100+ countries.
CBRE is a suitable option if you are a medium or large-sized company looking for leases.
CBRE offers the following services to foreign corporate investors:
- Advisory & Transaction Services
- Property Management
- Capital Markets
- Global Workplace Solutions
- Investment Management (CBRE Global Investors)
- Valuation & Advisory Services
CBRE has four offices in Shanghai and additional offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Wuhan, Shenzhen, and Xi’an. For the exact office addresses, I recommend you visit their website.
Century21 is a franchised real estate company with offices in dozens of countries globally, including China. Contrary to many of the above-mentioned agencies, Century21 focuses much on residential real estate.
Founded in 1971, Century21 has around 14,000 independently operated franchised offices in 86 countries and territories.
Located in Beijing, Century21 China is a suitable choice for private residential property buyers who look for units in the Beijing area.
- Real estate sales (primarily residential property)
- Leases and rents
- Valuations and advisory
19A2 Hanwei Plaza, No. 7 Guanghua Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 10004, China