Chinese investors find a captive rental market among fellow mainlanders for their German residential properties

By Cheryl Arcibalcheryl.arcibal@scmp.com / https://www.scmp.com/property/hong-kong-china/article/3018793/chinese-investors-find-captive-rental-market-among-fellow?utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=contentexchange&utm_source=EdgeProp | July 23, 2019 2:45 PM SGT
Chinese executives are buying property in Germany to rent to fellow employees relocating to Europe's top economy, but it is only a matter of time before mainland companies invest themselves, mimicking the likes of Facebook and Google to attract and retain talent, say market observers.
She said that this trend was prevalent in the Chinese community across Germany, referring to employees of Microvast, Catlbattery, and mainland banks based in Frankfurt.
A report by Yahoo Finance said that Huawei directly employs 2,600 workers in Germany, with 400 at its R&D centre in Munich. Greissl said the R&D centre was expected to add another 100 employees by 2020.
Grandaire, a luxury residential building in Berlin. Photo: Handout alt=Grandaire, a luxury residential building in Berlin. Photo: Handout
Greissl said that not only German companies such as Volkswagen and Siemens, but US tech giants like Facebook and Google were buying or developing property to lure and retain talent.
As the residential market in Germany's seven biggest cities was getting increasingly tight with an overall shortage of one million flats, companies were starting to provide staff with accommodation, allowing highly qualified young staff to be able to afford to live on standard wages.
"It is only a matter of time until [Chinese] companies join this trend," Greissl said.
According to data from property consultancy Savills, the number of Chinese residents in Germany has grown by 79 per cent over the last 10 years. The number stood at 143,135 last year, accounting for 1.3 per cent of all foreigners in the country.
Marcus Lemli, CEO of Savills Germany and head of investment for Europe, said that his company has seen increasing demand from Chinese private individuals for German residential real estate opportunities, mostly in large markets like Berlin, Frankfurt and gateway cities.
"We can see they have a clear focus on newly built and often medium size apartments. German real estate is very attractive...