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Chinese investors shift focus to Portugal, Singapore

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They are shifting money out of the US with concerns of fraying trade relations

Chinese property investors are shifting their focus to markets in Singapore and Portugal as an alternative investment destination, media reports said. They are moving money away from traditional markets such as the UK, US and Australia amid concerns of fraying trade relations.

Even though the coronavirus virus has pushed the global economy into a recession, investors in China are not shying away from further investments in properties. Many Chinese also sought foreign citizenship through various programmes such as the golden visa scheme provided by some European countries such as Spain, Greece and Portugal.

Georg Chmiel, executive chairman of property portal Juwai IQI told the media, “Many of the [mainland Chinese] buyers who are active this year are already in their destination markets and are purchasing at a more rapid rate because they intend to stay there. Some others are purchasing as part of the golden visa process.”

There is growing speculation that Portugal might withdraw the golden visa programme soon, hence there was a surge in activities in markets such as Porto or Lisbon and investors rushed to buy properties.

According to Real Capital Analytics (RCA), Chinese investors accounted for $21.7 billion or 5 percent of global real estate investment activity from January to September in 2020.

The commercial real estate sector in China is expected to grow in the coming years and proptech is expected to play an important role in its boom. A survey carried out by Altus Group found that among all the Chinese firms it surveyed, eight out of ten firms had a chief data officer or equivalent, compared to just 44 percent in 2016.

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