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MAY 2012 |www.opp.org.uk


BUSINESS


are motivated to purchase abroad. Don’t believe it. More than a few Chinese prospects at the Expo were interested in Cyprus and its excellent hospitality, its schools for their


“Moderately priced housing that secures a foothold for their children’s education is a key driver”


children, and its ability to provide a small apartment for them to live in. In fact, moderately priced housing


that secures a foothold for children’s education and - eventually - new life abroad is a key driver in Chinese overseas property investment. Golf, also, is growing to be as de rigueur for monied Chinese as it is in Japan, and Pafi lia’s golf property fl iers were quickly snatched up. Another exhibitor making an unexpected splash at the Expo was the Amadeus Group, which handles more than three thousand condominiums in the Rhine Main area, offering full services from fi nancial consulting and rental, up to cleaning and repair. Germany has a long-standing reputation in China for quality products and professional services, as well as being known for the high quality of life the average citizen there enjoys. Amadeus’ techno themed,


somewhat obscure video presentation had visitors a tad confused, but Julia Wei managed to steer the confusion to active interest as she laid out the many benefi ts of project “Skyline Boulevard” in Frankfurt’s Europaviertel. Urbane city living with shops, cafes, restaurants, schools, parks and day care centres, all within a brief stroll, caters to many


Chinese investors’ idea of the ideal urban lifestyle. Again, exhibitors from traditional destinations such as Australia, America, England, and Canada got a lot of attention, but with a lot of interest going to non-traditional areas within these countries. Australia’s Gold Coast exhibitors, for example, received more than their fair share of visitors, particularly Ali Mian of the Ray White Group. To the average Chinese, Australia usually means one of two cities – Sydney or Melbourne. To discover planned communities on the Northern Gold Coast such as the Sovereign Islands and Paradise Point, as


“Germany’s Amadeus Group made a splash with more than 3,000 condominiums”


luxurious and diverse as anything in Sydney or Melbourne, replete with all amenities - even a modern Chinatown! – was indeed a revelation to many Chinese who dream of a new life in Australia. As with Pafi lia’s offerings, Ray


White’s large range of price point and product, from $200,000 condos to large commercial opportunities, gave visitors a sense of large scope and possibilities, a feeling of credibility in this exciting new segment of Australian real estate. A fi nal word on the enthusiasm of


the Chinese for foreign real estate, and the wide variety of prospects a western agent can expect ... At the expo, your editor was


collared by an elderly Chinese lady, Mrs. Wang, who insisted on being sold a Las Vegas property. Unfortunately, there


were no exhibitors with


OPP CHINA | 27


Newly built | projects are best - the Chinese are suspicious of anything that is old


Las Vegas properties at the show, a great disappointment to Mrs. Wang, who wants nothing more than a humble, well-built home close to the slot machines. By “well-built”, Mrs. Wang means constructed within the last three years. Due to the generally low-quality


of construction in China, there is a common perception that anything more than three-to-fi ve years old is not worth investing in ... so that is another misconception to deal with. In any event, Mrs. Wang was


insistent that your editor contact one of her “foreign friends” in Las Vegas. She wanted no truck with Chinese middlemen, a few of whom had dealt


with her less than squarely. “I have 800,000 RMB, so I want the best house for that money. You tell your foreign friend I can buy now!” Mrs. Wang exclaimed, more than once. Mrs. Wang nicely exemplifi es the high motivation of many a Chinese buyer today, their willingness to cooperate with foreign agents, and their overbearing sense of caution when it comes to dealing with the average Chinese agent.


This indicates some work to do in regards to forging reliable partnerships in China, but also the rich rewards in store for those who manage to do so.


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