Investors - FEBRUARY 14, 2020

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China, the coronavirus and real estate investing

by Jennifer Molloy

Over the years, it has been impossible to escape the growth story, draw and influence of China — to real estate investors and the global economy. Now, that growth story is being disrupted by a black swan event, which in this case is actually a microscopic, highly contagious novel coronavirus — officially known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) — which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan (a major transportation and logistics hub) in Hubei Provence in December 2019. As of Feb. 13, there were nearly 47,000 confirmed cases globally — and approximately 1,400 people have died — with the vast majority of cases in mainland China. About 5,000 people are recovering from the coronavirus. The current fatality rate of roughly 2.9 percent is small comfort — but some — compared with the 9.6 percent fatality rate from the SARS epidemic in 2003.

And the reporting of such figures out of China, though more transparent than during the SARS epidemic, are still fraught with

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