Lessons learned from China’s overseas property buying spree
APRIL 1, 2024

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Lessons learned from China’s overseas property buying spree

by Ben Briggs

A tsunami of capital flooded onto America’s shores from China from 2014 to 2018, as flush Chinese developers and institutional investors snatched up landmark properties in gateway cities across the United States. Why the sudden influx of capital? Well, the stars had aligned with a strong dollar, weakening Chinese currency, Chinese stock market volatility and sprawling ghost cities whispering of a domestic real estate bubble. As such, Chinese investors were looking for safer havens overseas. In total, $2.3 trillion of capital was pumped into U.S. commercial real estate from 2010 through 2023, peaking in 2017, according to the American Enterprise Institute’s China Global Investment Tracker.

Everything changed when former U.S. President Donald Trump and other hardnose politicians feared the growing influence of Chinese landlords with ties to the Communist Party of China. Simultaneously, Chinese President Xi Jinping saw the flight of capital as a risk to his domestic economy,

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