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Buyers are getting antsy about China’s property market.
And that’s putting an extra strain on the country’s real estate sector, which could mean an even bigger squeeze for investors.
Here’s what you need to know.
Read more: China is now the world’s biggest consumer of foreign real estate, with almost $300bn of purchases in 2015, up from $180bn in 2014.
There are now more than 12m homes listed in the country, and more than 10m sales per month.
That means there are more than 300,000 properties listed in China that have been sold overseas in the past 12 months.
«We are seeing the demand for properties and the number of properties is increasing, especially overseas,» said Nick Wood from property consultant Woodfield in London.
«If that continues then there will be more sellers than buyers.»
He said that despite the booming property market, the Chinese government needs to keep a lid on its inflated property prices.
«This is a country with a population of almost 3 billion people, and if the country continues to build up and build up at a pace it’s already been doing, it will eventually run out of room,» he said.
«It will become unsustainable.
There will be a shortage of houses and property.
It will be difficult to sell, but if there’s no buyer then it becomes difficult to keep prices down.»
Woodfield has seen its sales numbers in China jump by about 10 per cent a year for five years.
The number of listings in the UK jumped from a mere 100 in 2014 to more than 3,000 in 2017, and is expected to reach more than 5,000 by the end of the year.
But with the housing market in the middle of a global property bubble, many are worried about the impact of the housing downturn on the local economy.
The local economy is also hit by rising house prices.
Last year, the price of a home in the city of Chongqing was about 1,400 yuan ($230) per square metre.
That compares with about 4,000 yuan in Hong Kong, according to the real estate website Zhongshan.
It is also far lower than prices in major cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, which are now over 2,000 per square meter.
The average price in Chongqings city centre is now about 2,300 yuan per square metres.
There is also a housing shortage, and with prices so high, many people are leaving Chongqin for other cities.
But the city’s booming economy means there is room for new investors to come in.
«There are some areas where the market has not been able to sustain it for too long,» said Woodfield.
Woodhouse added that while the government is keeping its head down, there are a number of things the authorities could do to help the realtors. «
As soon as the demand stops, prices start to fall and then it will all go to pieces.»
Woodhouse added that while the government is keeping its head down, there are a number of things the authorities could do to help the realtors.
They could increase the number or quality of information on sales, increase the price for buyers, or allow foreign buyers to make a claim on the property.
Woodfield advises prospective buyers to «get yourself sorted», and says that when buying a property, there is a need to look at every aspect of the property, including the size of the house, and whether the buyer will be able to live in it.
«In the real world, that is what matters,» he explained.
«When you are buying a house you are going to need to see every inch of it, from the outside and inside, and you should also be aware of the cost of living and the cost to maintain it.»
China’s booming property sector has fuelled a surge in foreign demand, with more than 30 per cent of new listings in HongKong, Macau and Taiwan in the last five years being for foreign investors.
Property market in Hongkong rose more than 40 per cent from 2014 to 2017, compared to just 2 per cent in the United States.
Woodhouse says that Chinese buyers are not as eager to buy properties in Hong Kong as they are in mainland China.
«A lot of Chinese buyers go to Hong Kong to get money out of China.
They go to take out a mortgage on their house, so it’s quite a common practice,» he added.
«But there is not the same amount of interest in properties in mainland Hong Kong.»
In Hong Kong alone, the average price of new properties is about $800,000, compared with about $1m in mainland Beijing, Hong Kong’s second-largest city.
But it is not all doom and gloom.
A big part of the Chinese real estate boom has come from investors from other countries, and some of them have become more aggressive.
In June, British real estate firm Savills said it was launching a survey of its clients in China to find out whether they would be willing to invest in