Trading Places: Chinese Flee Stocks for Offshore Property [Chart]
Canadian and Australian housing sales set new monthly records in June
The Chart of the Week is a weekly feature in Visual Capitalist on Fridays.
Every transitioning economy has its growing pains.
This turns out to be especially true when that economy is an unusual Jekyll-Hyde type of hybrid: it’s run by a communist government that favours control, but at the same time wants to harness the growth of free market dynamics.
Over the last two years, the Chinese government has worked to relax margin restrictions. By changing these rules, it would allow more regular folks to borrow on margin to buy into and fuel the stock market. The only problem was that most of the public had never invested before, and intense speculative buying replaced any disciplined search for value or growth.
The market soared to new heights. New investors saw the gains and just kept piling in. Between June 2014 and May 2015, more than 40 million new trading accounts were opened, and many of these new equity investors had less than a high school education.
The Shanghai Composite Index, which tracks shares traded on Shanghai’s stock exchange, climbed over 150% since late 2014.
Then, the party abruptly came to an end. Over the last month, the market crashed and lost about 30% of its value, worth about $3 trillion. The government had taken unprecedented steps to slow down the crash, including halting IPOs, cutting interest rates, and other “stability measures”. Top brokerages even pledged to collectively buy 120 billion yuan ($24 billion) of shares to steady the market. Finally, the China Securities Regulatory Commission banned sales of shares for major investors for six months, and suspended trading in over 1,000 stocks.
The once frothy market has had mixed reactions over the last few days, but remains near its three month low.
The Pacific Connection
While surely some people have lost faith in Chinese stocks as of late, that doesn’t mean money wasn’t made. The market is still up 80% from a year ago and many that were in early made a killing.
What are some of these people doing with their newfound capital? Many are buying real estate in China to store their wealth.
In a survey carried out by the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, 28,140 respondents were polled between June 15 and July 2. They found that more people were taking money from the stock market and buying property. In Q2, 3.7% of stock investors bought housing compared to 2.3% in the first quarter. Of those that bought property, 70% of households have made money in the stock market.
People from China have also looked abroad to store their wealth in housing. It’s no secret that Canada, Australia, and the United States have all felt the effects of foreign buying in their property markets over the years.
Cities such as Vancouver and Toronto have had an influx of new buyers fueling the boom, and this is part of the reason why Canada is now considered to have the most overvalued housing market in the world.
Sydney and Melbourne have seen similar effects, and Australia was recently ranked by the Economist as the second most overvalued housing market relative to income.
In the United States, the Bay Area continues to also have a bull market in property. Technology plays a big role in this, but foreign buyers have also been helping drive prices there as well. California is a popular destination for Chinese buyers, as 30% of all Asian-Americans reside in the Golden State.
In the month of June, housing prices and the number of sales have reached record levels in some of these markets.
The two hottest Canadian markets remained on fire, despite the country edging into a technical recession. In Vancouver, housing sales were 29.1% higher than the 10-year average for the month of June. This brought the benchmark housing price to C$1.1 million for a detached home. June was the fourth straight month with over 4,000 sales, a new record for the city. Luxury sales rose 48% in the period between January and June compared to last year.
Toronto’s luxury market is even hotter, with sales increasing 56% over the first half of the year. The benchmark housing price in the city for a detached home is now C$1.05 million, a 14.2% increase over the last year.
Two of the more prominent markets in Australia also kept their momentum. In Sydney, prices have soared 22.0% over the last 12 months for homes, to a median price of A$900,000. Melbourne, which started to cool off in the beginning of 2015, found resurgence in June that brought it back to strong double-digit annual growth.
Melbourne, which typically has less expensive homes than Sydney, Vancouver, and Toronto, is starting to join the million dollar club as well. Recently, there are 17 new postal codes that now have homes with A$1 million median prices.
From the Front Lines
The million dollar question is: to what extent do exits from the Chinese stock market and capital flight influence the markets in the above cities. Everyone can agree there is some influence, but narrowing down the specifics is much more difficult.
This is because there are not many official records on the specifics of foreign ownership, and much of the time transactions are done indirectly through family and friends.
Aside from the correlation with the numbers above, there is mainly anecdotal evidence from people on the ground.
In Vancouver, for instance, a Reuters survey found that of 50 land titles for detached Vancouver Westside homes worth over C$2 million, that nearly half of purchasers had surnames typical of mainland China. Five real estate agents primarily focused on sales on Vancouver’s more luxurious west side estimated that between 50% and 80% of their clients had ties to mainland China.
Michael Pallier, the Principal at Sydney Sothebys International Realty, said recently that volatility in the Chinese market was prompting more interest in local properties in the luxury market.
“Last month in our office we sold 20 properties for $115 million turnover in June, of which 25 per cent were sold to Chinese buyers, so we do have a lot of experience dealing with Chinese markets,” said Mr. Pallier, “They’d rather put the money into a property than put it into cash or into shares.”
David Fung, the vice-chair of the Canada China Business council, said that the stock market crash and volatility drives more investments into Canada, including British Columbia’s hot property market.
“They’re not looking necessarily for a very high return because it is for their own insurance,” said Fung.
The Economies Adding the Most to Global Growth in 2019
Global economics is effectively a numbers game – here are the countries and regions projected to contribute the most to global growth in 2019.
The Economies Adding the Most to Global Growth in 2019
Global economics is effectively a numbers game.
As long as the data adds up to economic expansion on a worldwide level, it’s easy to keep the status quo rolling. Companies can shift resources to the growing segments, and investors can put capital where it can go to work.
At the end of the day, growth cures everything – it’s only when it dries up that things get hairy.
Breaking Down Global Growth in 2019
Today’s chart uses data from Standard Chartered and the IMF to break down where economic growth is happening in 2019 using purchasing power parity (PPP) terms. Further, it also compares the share of the global GDP pie taken by key countries and regions over time.
Let’s start by looking at where global growth is forecasted to occur in 2019:
|Country or Region||Share of Global GDP Growth (PPP) in 2019F|
|Other Asia (Excl. China/Japan)||29%|
|Middle East & North Africa||4%|
|Latin America & Caribbean||3%|
|Rest of World||8%|
The data here mimics some of the previous estimates we’ve seen from Standard Chartered, such as this chart which projects the largest economies in 2030.
Asia as a whole will account for 63% of all global GDP growth (PPP) this year, with the lion’s share going to China. Countries like India and Indonesia will contribute to the “Other Asia” share, and Japan will only contribute 1% to the global growth total.
In terms of developed economies, the U.S. will lead the pack (11%) in contributing to global growth. Europe will add 8% between its various sub-regions, and Canada will add 1%.
Share of Global Economy Over Time
Based on the above projections, we were interested in taking a look at how each region or country’s share of global GDP (PPP) has changed over recent decades.
This time, we used IMF projections from its data mapper tool to loosely approximate the regions above, though there are some minor differences in how the data is organized.
|Country or Region||Share of GDP (PPP, 1980)||Share of GDP (PPP, 2019F)||Change|
|Developing Asia||8.9%||34.1%||+25.2 pp|
|European Union||29.9%||16.0%||-13.9 pp|
|United States||21.6%||15.0%||-6.6 pp|
|Latin America & Caribbean||12.2%||7.4%||-4.8 pp|
|Middle East & North Africa||8.6%||6.5%||-2.1 pp|
|Sub-Saharan Africa||2.4%||3.0%||+0.6 pp|
In the past 40 years or so, Developing Asia has increased its share of the global economy (in PPP terms) from 8.9% to an estimated 34.1% today. This dominant region includes China, India, and other fast-growing economies.
The European Union and the United States combined for 51.5% of global productivity in 1980, but they now account for 31% of the total economic mix. Similarly, the Latin America and MENA regions are seeing similar decreases in their share of the economic pie.
Map: Cities With the Most Ultra-Rich Residents
What cities are the world’s ultra-rich flocking to? This map looks at ultra high net worth individual (UHNWI) growth rates in cities around the world.
Mapped: The Cities With the Most Ultra-Rich Residents
As of 2018, there is a grand total of 198,342 ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) globally with assets over US$30 million, according to the most recent edition of Knight Frank’s Wealth Report.
Although these millionaires and billionaires can be found all over the globe, the reality is that most of the world’s ultra-rich population tends to congregate in world-class cities.
Generally speaking, UHNWIs are looking to live in places that are conducive to safeguarding and growing their wealth, but that also give them access to top-end amenities that allow them to live comfortably and luxuriously.
Top 10 Cities for the Ultra-Rich
To start, we’ll look at a list of global cities, organized by expected number of UHNWIs in 2023:
|Rank||City||UHNWIs (2018)||UHNWIs (2023e)||Change (%)|
|#4||🇺🇸 New York City||3,378||3,891||15.2%|
London continues to top the list, with a roster of 4,944 ultra-rich residents today and the projected growth over the coming years to eclipse the 6,000 mark by 2023.
Tokyo has the second highest amount of UHNWIs today, but the city is adding them at a slower rate than other rival cities. As a result, Singapore will move into the #2 spot overall by 2023, with an expected total of 4,393 high net worth residents.
Finally, it’s worth noting that only two cities on the top 10 list are expected to see growth above a 30% clip over this five-year period. Shanghai and Beijing could be cities to watch for decades to come, as they add millionaires and billionaires at a faster rate than any of the other heavyweights.
Fastest Growing Cities
Where are the billionaire meccas of the future?
Here are the 10 cities that are expected to add UHNWIs the fastest between 2018-2023:
|Rank||City||UHNWIs (2018)||UHNWIs (2023e)||Change (%)|
|#9||🇲🇾 Kuala Lumpur||376||496||31.9%|
Not surprisingly, all 10 of these cities are located in Asia.
Two Indian cities (Delhi and Mumbai) top the list, and are likely to add nearly 40% to their ultra-rich populations over the next five years. China also has a strong showing here.
Interestingly, just missing the above top 10 were a few non-Asian cities: Auckland (#11), Madrid (#12), Munich (#13), and Nairobi (#14) are all expected to grow their UHNWI populations by roughly 25% by 2023.
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