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  April 10th, 2018 | Written by

The Growing US-China Trade War

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  • A persistent trade battle could reduce demand for US property.
  • There is a short-term incentive to purchase US property before Sino-US relations possibly get worse.
  • Chinese buyer demand for US real estate was up by 26.2 percent in March.

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, Chinese invested $101.2 billion in international commercial and residential real estate in 2016.

Carrie Law is CEO of, the No. 1 Chinese international real estate website.