At this point, most Chinese buyers are cautiously optimistic. From all sides you hear that this trade war is not likely to escalate to the point where it is a serious threat to international trade and relations. At this stage, most property investors seem to feel the trade war will amount to no more than a noisy argument between two friends who later will hug and make up.
A persistent trade battle that causes doubt or worry in the consumer’s mind could reduce demand for US property. That long-term fear is counterbalanced for now by a short-term incentive to purchase before Sino-US relations possibly get worse.
I can’t say how much this is due to the trade tensions, but Chinese buyer demand in March was not down –– but up by 26.2 percent on a month-on-month basis. In the first three months of the year it has recovered from a relatively weak final quarter of 2017. This data is based on the number of property buyer inquiries made through Juwai.
According to that National Association of Realtors, Chinese buyers invested $31.7 billion in US residential real estate in 2016-2017, up from $12 billion five years earlier in 2012. According to Juwai.com, Chinese invested $101.2 billion in international commercial and residential real estate in 2016.
Carrie Law is CEO of Juwai.com, the No. 1 Chinese international real estate website.