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The Chinese are not coming at all

Michiel Boonen
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Regardless how active they are, until today Chinese investors turn up their noses for Dutch commercial Real estate. What began with a free fall of over 30 percent on the Chinese stock exchange earlier this year, has resulted in an exodus from China of its investors. The march beyond the country´s borders is deployed and as a result, a large amount of Chinese capital is floating around in and above the global real estate investment market.

Of course I do not exclude Chinese capital to be invested on the Dutch market, but as yet the majority of Chinese capital is invested within their own region and the Netherlands remains a tourist attraction for the Chinese. They focus on super prime real estate in countries including Australia and Singapore, markets they are familiar with. Outside their home region, Chinese prove themselves risk averse with New York on their list of favourite cities to invest. This economic magnet drew $ 4 billion of Chinese capital last year. Despite the hosanna mood in Europe they only invested $ 3.8 billion in direct real estate on the continent of which almost half of it in London and the other half in Paris, Brussels and Munich with one transaction in each of these cities.

Strikingly since many investors only see opportunities on the Dutch property market. I therefore believe that the only reason for the Chinese to turn up their noses is our product. They have deployed a continuous quest for super prime property and landmark investments. Both are limited available in the Netherlands. Where the risk perception of most investors has changed considerably, the Chinese continue their search for safe havens for their investments. And though Louis Vuitton bags may feel like super prime investments to the average Chinese tourist in the Netherlands, for their real estate investments they focus on global winning cities such as London, Munich and Brussels.

The arrival of ´big Chinese money´ into European property will take some more time whilst the Netherlands for now seems last in line. Nevertheless, the appetite of international investors in Dutch real estate remains sky high and one may expect the Chinese to eventually find their way to our country.

Article Vastgoedmarkt (Dutch)


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