After starting off the year in relatively strong form in January, both global and Asia Pacific property stocks were generally positive in February.
From the Current Issue
Real estate investors are forever looking for fast-growth markets to give them a tide that will lift their boats. A joint study from the Brookings Institution and JP Morgan Chase indicates investors would do well to point those vessels toward China and Turkey.
What is going on with China’s housing market? Sales volumes, prices and new development all declined in 2014, despite the lifting or relaxation of home purchase restrictions almost everywhere except the first-tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. In addition, an interest rate cut this past November was designed to help stimulate sales.
Anyone who reads the newspaper (Western papers or China Daily) knows a key programme of Chinese President Xi Jinping is to eliminate the fraud and corruption that has plagued the government for decades. From lowly local government officials (who own 10–20 residences) to the highest echelon of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China elite, no-one seems to be exempt from investigation.
Simply addressing China-Taiwan relations can spark a media firestorm, as Taipei’s maverick mayor Ko Wen-je instigated in January when he “broke etiquette” by declaring Westerners should “convince mainland China that a free and democratic Taiwan is more in China’s interest than reunification.” Ko was instantly pilloried for his Foreign Policy interview by the island’s ruling, Beijing-friendly Kuomintang party, which bluntly advised the mayor to place national interests before his own.
Recent years have seen a tremendous surge of Chinese investment into overseas real estate markets. From 2009 to 2014, the total value of Chinese outbound property investment skyrocketed from US$600 million to an estimated US$15 billion.
In my opening remarks at our VIP – Americas and VIP – Europe conferences, I always try to recap some of the recurring themes that have arisen during discussions at our Editorial Advisory Board meetings around the world.
The buyer of New York City’s Waldorf Astoria hotel has purchased another Manhattan asset.