Just in from China: essential insights on international property buyers

June 21, 2023

In 2021, Hong Kong and mainland Chinese buyers accounted for approximately 40% of all sales in excess of £10 million in London. It’s clear that this customer segment is crucial for the UK property market. But how much do we know about the international buyers from China? And, in particular, how have their sentiments and perceptions shifted during the pandemic?

Now that the borders have finally opened, we couldn’t miss the chance to conduct on-the-ground research. Our International Marketing Manager, Echo Moying, travelled to Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong to speak to real estate agents and customers. She also toured properties in these cities as a mystery shopper, all in a bid to unpack the latest real estate trends.

From the rise of ‘superhomes’ to the growing interest in properties outside London, her findings unearthed fascinating insights about Chinese buyers.

There’s a growing interest in the English countryside

It’s not news that the London property market is popular among international buyers. But a potential market for homes outside London shows its future. Chinese buyers have a strong desire to buy big houses with large outdoor spaces and surrounding greenery – and they’re drawn to the English countryside.

We spoke to a customer who has lived his whole life in Beijing but is planning on retiring in England. He told us: ‘Chinese people who live in big cities lack the balance with nature. It makes our generation feel a lot of anxiety and stress. After retiring, we don’t want to be imprisoned in an apartment with little space. We want to have a life away from the city with a lot of nature and at least a two-storey house. I really want to have a garden where I have my own plants.”

Superhomes’ are the new standard

When Echo went mystery shopping in a luxury apartment complex in Beijing, the real estate agent proudly showed her the in-home technology. Smart home tech is a huge hit in China and it’s clear that home builders are in a race to outdo each other with the most advanced tech upgrades.

From ‘invisible’ German-made heating and cooling systems built into the wall, to appliances controlling humidity and purifying the air, the apartment was decked out in the latest technology. These tech-enabled ‘superhomes’ are now the standard among Chinese buyers – and they’ll definitely be looking for similar upgrades when shopping for homes in the UK. To keep up, British home builders need to invest in competitive smart solutions.

Contact our Chief Growth Officer, Crispin Reed, to learn more about our insights into the overseas buyer: crispin.reed@hunter-design.co.uk.

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