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Portal claims Coronavirus sparking Chinese interest in UK property

A property portal is making the controversial claim that the Coronavirus has led to an increase in online interest in UK properties from Chinese buyers.

Juwai IQI, a Chinese portal, says that while Chinese purchasing of property abroad has sharply reduced in recent weeks because of the virus’s constraints on travel, the number of online searches for a number of relatively safe havens have increased.

This includes the UK; searches on the Juwai portal for homes in the UK peaked in February at 6.8 per cent above the average of the previous six months. 

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There were also increased searches by Chinese buyers for properties in Greece, Germany, Vietnam and the United States.

The website claims: “The Coronavirus outbreak is reducing the number of completed transactions in the short-term … When the epidemic ceases to have today’s disruptive impact on travel and other activity, we believe all the drivers that generate Chinese demand for cross-border property will still be in place. As a result, transactions will return to pre-epidemic levels.”

It continues: “In January and February, Chinese and other Asian consumers dramatically increased their online activity. People who are staying home spend their time by going online. They have more time to do research, search for real estate, and make enquiries. 

“Buyers are still motivated, and it is just practical restraints on travel that are holding them back.”

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