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Investing in Chinese real estate

By Violeta-Loredana Pascal | August 31, 2015

It’s been everywhere in the news since last week: China’s stockmarket has taken a serious dive last week, falling by 11.5%.

A sales assistant talks to visitors in front of models of apartments at a real estate exhibition in Shenyang, Liaoning province April 17, 2014. China's real estate investment rose 16.8 percent in first three months of 2014 from a year earlier, and revenues from property sales dropped an annual 5.2 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Stringer (CHINA - Tags: REAL ESTATE BUSINESS) CHINA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA - RTR3LM1B

The world’s second biggest economy’s current turmoil - China’s currency, the Yuan was also devalued this month - is likely to affect the global economy in more ways than one although experts’ opinions differ.

Julian Jessop, chief of global economics at Capital Economics has advised in a recent article in The Guardian that the panic was essentially “made in China”: globally, all the data concerning other big economies has been relatively good news. On the other hand, some experts believe that the “Great Fall of China” is a bad sign for the global economy.

In terms of real estate, before stability returns in the Chinese stock markets, Chinese investments made in the USA (with more than $10 billion in 2014), specifically in the Bay Area are likely to slow down a little but the situation might benefit the New York area: bigger corporations will look for safe investments and higher returns.

While Asia is investing massively in the US property market, it’s also true that many investors outside Asia, lured by the rapid growth of the Asian markets have flocked to China in recent years. In the light of the recent events though, is it still time to invest or should you start looking elsewhere?

China’s market has always been hugely volatile, but it remains packed with incredible potential: expats can expect to earn up to $300,000 per year there, and that’s more than in any other country. But before you start planning your move and send a parcel to China, here’s a few essentials facts about how to buy a property or invest in the chinese real estate.

Be patient

Legally, you need to have worked at least a year in China before you can buy a house. For all other commercial endeavours, you will have to do so under the name of a Chinese company.

One-property rule

Expats are technically only allowed to buy one single property in China - if you’re looking to build a real estate empire there, there are ways to bypass this but you will need legal help on the ground.

Chinese name

You are required by law to have a Chinese name on all legal property documentation.


Property prices have risen in China over the past few years, fuelled by cheap credit and low interest rates. As an expat, you are also entitled to apply for a loan in either foreign exchange currency or in the local one. Given the recent economic events, it is strongly advisable however to stick to foreign currency in order to protect your capital.

Violeta-Loredana Pascal is a business coach and mentor at her company - AdvanceNowBiz - with more than 15 years of business experience and a background in public relations, marketing and communication. She is passionate about reading, blogging and traveling – see Travel – Moments in Time and Earth's Attractions. Follow her on Twitter - @TravelMoments and @EarthAttract.
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