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May 24, 2017

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Rosy outlook for real estate investment

THE outlook for China’s real estate investment market is expected to be positive in 2017 despite a decline in transactions in the first quarter, Colliers International said in a report released yesterday.

Between January and March, en bloc property transactions across the country fell 25 percent year on year to US$5.3 billion because of scarce high-quality property assets available for sale rather than lack of demand, said the property services provider.

“We expect investment activity to pick up over the rest of 2017 and come close to last year’s record, as China’s economy continues to expand while concerns over international trade and politics are easing,” said Andrew Haskins, executive director of research for Asia operation at Colliers.

He believed the first quarter’s weakness to be temporary because of “strong interest in undeveloped land, firm cumulative investment demand over the past 12 months and the prevalence of large, high-profile deals in Shanghai.”

In the first three months of this year, property transactions in Shanghai rose 7 percent from the same period a year ago to US$2.7 billion, ranking the city No. 2 in Asia-Pacific after Hong Kong where such deals plunged 32 percent year on year to US$3.38 billion, according to Colliers data.

Meanwhile, Chinese mainland investment in properties in Hong Kong soared 213 percent year on year to a record HK$36.1 billion (US$4.6 billion) during the quarter.

While offices remain the most popular property for Chinese mainland corporate investors, residential plots are also increasingly attractive to mainland developers, according to Colliers.


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