The busiest period of travel in human history is about to go down, as China prepares to celebrate the lunar new year – also known as Chinese New Year(CNY). CNY falls on January 28, but is celebrated over a 40 day period beginning on January 13 – February 21, during which the Chinese government is estimating over 2.98 billion trips will be made. According to a survey conducted by Chinese international property giant Juwai, many of them are planning on looking for property purchases during their holiday. The question is, will they be able to go through with their intentions.
Buyers Considering Purchasing Property
The survey conducted earlier this month focused on the intentions of CNY travellers looking to consume goods abroad, and was filled out by both Chinese travellers and international property agents. The consumer survey indicated that more than half of the Chinese citizens traveling over the lunar new year expect to purchase property abroad. 42% of consumers said they will definitely engage in “property hunting,” and another 26% said they’ll consider it.
Don’t worry, this isn’t the kind of consumer that purchases a house for the purposes of leaving it empty…at least that’s not what they’re saying. 58% of the Chinese consumers surveyed, said they’ll attempt to emigrate to the country they’re visiting, and 16% say they’ll consider it. 41% of the travellers even have an agent lined up in the locale they’re travelling too.
Agents Selling To Foreign Buyers
The agent survey focused on real estate professionals that deal with international clients. 17% of agents that deal with international clients said they have buyers visiting them over the New Year. This number is slightly lower for Canadian based agents, where only 16% have buyers visiting over the new year. This is interesting to see a drop below the baseline, since Canada has been a top destination for China’s buyers for the past few years.
Canadian agents still seem to be under the impression that it will be busier this year than last. The majority (53%) of agents said they expect more Chinese New Years buyers than in 2016, with another 39% expecting business to be the same. Only 8% expected a decline, despite the recent number of buyers in the market declining.
Now what’s interesting is, this is a survey of intention. It doesn’t necessarily mean properties will start flying off the MLS for the whole 40 days. China’s new currency exchange rules passed earlier this month explicitly forbids exchanging currency for the purposes of purchasing real estate. With that, came a statement that the Chinese government will also begin cracking down on breaking currency rules. The next few weeks will be an interesting time to see if they were serious about enforcing those rules.
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