China’s demand for British homes is on the rise as London prepares to join the list of cities with Chinese-owned properties.
The Irish market is home to around half of all new sales in China and its residents are spending on a record-breaking pace.
As a result, the number of properties sold by Irish people has doubled in just three years, to almost 500,000.
The growth has been fuelled by the government’s decision last month to allow foreign investors to buy a 50 per cent stake in overseas-listed properties in London, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
In a recent survey by Real Estate Investors Association of Ireland, more than 60 per cent of respondents said they are planning to buy property in China.
Irish sales figures show the number selling in China last month surpassed those from the previous five months, with sales up 9.6 per cent in June compared with the same month last year.
More than 1,400 Chinese properties were sold last month, the most since the first half of 2018, according to data from the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).
The average price per sq m sold was €1.4m.
The average sale price in China in May was €7.4 million, up 9 per cent from the same period last year, while the average sale in Ireland was €3.8 million, down 10 per cent.
According to REIT, China is the fastest-growing market for Irish property in the world, with growth rates of 10 to 20 per cent a year.
It accounts for more than 40 per cent (2,500) of the country’s housing construction in 2018.
“The Chinese have come to realise that their growth is driven by foreign investors and this has translated into a significant number of property sales, particularly in London,” said Dr Brian O’Connor, chief executive of REIT.
The growth has come amid a global slowdown, with a global reserve currency, the yuan, falling to record lows and the global economy contracting.
In addition, the European Union’s economic downturn has put downward pressure on the cost of imports, which has been a major driver of sales.
Last month, London announced plans to allow foreigners to buy 50 per per cent stakes in overseas listed properties in the capital, which will be worth €20bn.