Rich in China stock up luxury properties to hedge against recession risks

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/16 17:43:40

Residents select houses at a sales center of a real estate company in Huaian, East China's Jiangsu Province on Sunday. As China's domestic coronavirus control has made progress, local real estate companies have opened while observing strict measures against the virus. Photo: cnsphotos

High-end properties are being pursuit by the rich Chinese to hedge risks to their savings against the spreading coronavirus pandemic in the world and a biting economic contraction.

A luxury property complex in Shanghai, one of China's best developed cities, attracted a number of buyers who lined up for hours before the complex opened up for selling on Monday. Located in an international community in Shanghai, the most expensive apartments cost 80 million yuan each, while the cheapest smaller house starts at 17 million yuan. 

Another property complex in Shenzhen city, which is studded with China's most successful technology companies like Huawei and Tencent, sold 54 apartments for 2.3 billion yuan in half a day. The average price of each apartment ranges from 29 million to 55 million yuan. 

The driving force for the hot sales of luxury properties in the cities is the coronavirus pandemic which has forced the global economy into a halt. The government's loose monetary policy to rescue a faltering economy also added to the urgency of stocking up a property to hedge against hidden risks, Song Ding, a research fellow at the Shenzhen-based China Development Institute, told the Global Times on Thursday.

With central banks around the world pouring money into the market to boost the economy, part of the capital will inevitably flow into properties which have been proven during the past financial crises as a "safe haven asset", Song noted.

In 2018 and 2019, Shanghai sold more than 15,000 luxury homes with an average price of more than 10 million yuan, and 4,235 plush apartments of more than 20 million yuan apiece, according to statistics from Lianjia, a Chinese real-estate brokerage company.

People who could afford the 20 million yuan to stock up a luxury house are mostly those who own private companies or run family businesses, a real-estate broker in Shanghai told the Global Times on Thursday.

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