Chinese investor appetite for US property is waning. In that, some see opportunity.

Uncertainties about the trade war are keeping investments down
November 07, 2018 10:30AM

(Credit: iStock)

The Chinese capital that fueled the purchase of luxury apartments and large office buildings from coast to coast in the U.S. is drying up.

Hong Kong and mainland China investments in the U.S. property market totaled $4.42 billion through October, compared with $6.81 billion in all of 2017, according to the South China Morning Post. Investor appetite has cooled amid uncertainties about the trade war between the two countries.

“Under the trade war you won’t expect too many foreign buyers looking at the [property] market anyway, and basically all Chinese investors have disappeared,” Antonio Wu, Colliers International deputy managing director for capital markets and investment services, told the South China Morning Post.

Chinese inquiries about U.S. property dropped 11.4 percent in September, the report said.

Still, some investors see it as a window of opportunity.

“In my opinion, property is still a safe haven in many markets as long as the investment is producing a decent return as the debt cost will continue to rise,” said Wu.

The report comes has the US housing market has slowed. Sales of both existing homes and new construction homes have fallen.

Earlier this year, a report noted that retreating Chinese buyers could hurt U.S. property values. Following Beijing’s tightening of capital controls, Chinese investors sold $1.29 billion worth of U.S. commercial real estate in the second quarter, while purchasing only $126.2 million. [SCMP] — Meenal Vamburkar