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Chinese investments in Dubai residential property top $720m in 2017

Dubai’s reputation as "a safe harbour from global political strife" will spur higher investments in the emirate, a recently released report has found

Mainland Chinese investors spent $720m on residential real esate in Dubai last year [representational image].
Mainland Chinese investors spent $720m on residential real esate in Dubai last year [representational image].

Mainland Chinese investors spent $720m (AED2.6bn) in Dubai residential real estate in 2017, according to new figures shared by property portal Juwai.

According to its 2018 Chinese Global Property Investment Report, these Dubai transactions contributed to the $65.9bn (AED242bn) spent by mainland Chinese investors on residential assets across all markets last year.

The firm did not give a figure on the amount of commercial assets bought by Chinese investors in the UAE.

North America topped the ranking for Chinese real estate investments last year, with $31.3bn and $10.5bn invested in both residential and commercial assets respectively – a 31.9% drop in growth rate on the previous year.

READ: UAE maps road project programme with Chinese construction giant

In terms of property buying enquiries, Juwai’s findings placed the UAE 15 out of 15 in both the number of buyer enquiries and aggregate enquiry value.

The top five countries for buyer enquiries were the US, Australia, Thailand, Canada, and the UK.

In Europe, Chinese real estate acquisitions increased by 227.9% from $7.8bn in 2016 to $25.5 bn in 2017.

“This year, we think Dubai’s reputation as a safe harbour from global political strife may lead to investment growth,” said Carrie Law, chief executive officer and director of Juwai.com.

“In 2018, we expect investment to grow at a moderate rate, which is in line with Beijing’s goal of managed, rational overseas investment.”

READ: CSCEC ME's China HQ to bankroll Belt and Road projects

The figures from Juwai, whch was founded in Hong Kong in 2010, comes amid years of capital controls by the Chinese government, designed to restrict capital outflows and manage its currency more effectively.

However, the impact of such controls – which bit particularly hard in December 2016 – may have been “overstated” when it comes to international property investors, the report added.

“Chinese international property buyers are motivated by a desire to diversify their assets, hedge their risks, fund an overseas lifestyle or education, or seek higher returns. Very few today, though, are driven by the fear that helped drive investment growth in 2015 and 2016."

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Construction Week - Issue 751
Oct 13, 2019