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Unleash the Dragon
February 4, 2012Article by Ray Withers
For those die hard R&B fans out there, sadly the title of today’s post doesn’t refer to the debut album of a certain US singer with a penchant for lyrics involving ladies lingerie but rather the equally stimulating rise of the Asian property investor!
I am blogging from Hong Kong, enjoying a coffee (ok a glass of wine) from my hotel room, soaking up the simply incomparable views over Victoria Harbour and to Kowloon. My own personal heritage gives me great affinity for Asia and I try to visit at least once a year to soak up the electric atmosphere and be inspired by the ambition and achievement around every corner.
As part of my trip this year, the Chinese Year of the Dragon, I am keen to not only meet our established business contacts but also clients of PF who have invested in our projects all over the world.
Asian investors have become some of the most active of Property Frontiers’ clients in recent times with buyers from China, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, India, Japan, the Philippines and of course Hong Kong. Last year alone we saw over 100% increase in the number of Asian investors and looking at the origin of enquiries received this year so far, I fully expect this to be repeated in 2012.
Compared to many western investors, Asian buyers seem to be more fixed on the product they want. Their priorities are prime locations such as the UK and especially London, residential and commercial asset classes such as hotels or student accommodation, low entry prices and double-digit returns.
Their expectations are high (and why not?) but their due diligence is always done and more often than not they are liquid and once decided, move quickly. Maybe this methodical, direct and efficient approach is the key to the success of many Asian investors? Maybe the focus on fundamentals and facts rather than speculation and media hype is why Asia is thriving whilst we in the West brace ourselves for another recession?
Either way, as I watch the neon lights bring one of my favourite cities to life, I am reminded once again that in this world of property investment we are truly globalized. Over the next few days I shall be working hard to reinforce our already strong bonds with the Asian market but also speak candidly with existing and potential investors about the investment opportunities they desire and we can deliver.