101 East

China’s Home Invasion

As thousands of Chinese are hunting for their dream homes abroad, we investigate the impact of their shopping spree.

Cashed up and determined to buy, Jennifer Tao is a real estate agent’s dream.

The Shanghai native owns five houses in California and has a property portfolio worth $8m. Tao is one of thousands of wealthy Chinese buying homes abroad – from Californian mansions and Manhattan apartments to Sydney family homes.

China’s economic rise has produced a wealthy elite that is increasingly looking to invest, and in many cases, live abroad. Surveys show over half of the country’s 70 million wealthiest people want to emigrate.

Some of the world’s leading cities are on their wishlists. The most popular overseas destinations for Chinese buyers are the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, according to online portal, Juwai.com

Real estate agents say some Chinese buyers do not even bother inspecting properties before signing on the dotted line.

Property developers credit Chinese investment with creating a construction boom in countries like Australia.

But not everyone is putting out the welcome mat. The surge in Chinese buyers has triggered anger in some Australian and American communities, with accusations that China’s cashed-up elite is pricing out local buyers.

101 East travels to the US and Australia to examine the rise and fear of China’s overseas homebuyers.