Rich Chinese investors are finding luxury real estate is a good hiding place from the economic fallout of the coronavirus. Across China and in some of their familiar hunting grounds in Asia, wealthy buyers are snapping up top-end housing, in many cases to guard their wealth against anticipated inflation and a weakening yuan. The rush to add real estate has led to a jump in upmarket housing prices in China, while offering some support for Asian property markets hit hard by the pandemic. "It's been flat-out," said Monika Tu, founder of Black Diamondz, an Australian company that caters to Chinese buyers of luxury real estate. Since March, Tu has sold 85 million Australian dollars ($55 million) of prime property, with about half the sales to Chinese clients who were in Australia when the pandemic hit.
Perhaps buying a house in Sydney, Australia's most expensive city, should be an Olympic event. It takes stamina, meticulous planning and very deep pockets. House prices here have jumped by almost 60% in the last five years, while apartments have risen by 44%, according to figures from corelogic.com.au. There are many reasons why, among them record low interest rates, generous tax breaks for investors and foreign buyers. With a young family to support, Claude Robinson, 46, whose wage is above the national average, says house prices are "out of control, astronomical".
Canadians have been purchasing property in the United States in record numbers, with the period between spring 2016 and 2017 seeing an all-time high of $19 billion, it was reported Saturday. The figure from a report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) is believed to be something of a surprise due to the relative weakness of the Canadian dollar against its U.S. counterpart. Experts, however, said there are two buyer groups for whom the exchange rate currently is not a factor -- retirees, and investors wanting to cash out of the Canadian real estate markets in Vancouver and Toronto. According to an economist with the NAR, Lawrence Yun, the real estate market in those Canadian cities has done so well, it has allowed many investors to build up equity. And the fact that prices are still rising now means they are looking to spend their money elsewhere, according to CBC. "Canadian consumers are seeking out bargains and they see big bargains south of the border," he said.
A conceptual image of a businessman offering a Bitcoin to purchase large single family home. It is a seller's market these days for homes across the top U.S. metro areas. Home prices have been rising - up 8% from 2017 - and homes are shifting fast as inventory and days on the market are down according to recent data by 8% and 7%, respectively. That said, home ownership for many remains a distant pipedream. Consequently all this is putting pressure on prospective homebuyers to settle deals quickly before opportunities to purchase dry up.
By day, the field of leeks looks like any other. But, as the sun sets, blue and red light, mixed with invisible ultraviolet (UV) radiation, transforms the scene into a multicoloured landscape. This LED light show is not just for effect. For a couple of hours every evening the lights are shone across the 20,000sq metre field in Lelystad in the Netherlands in a bid to make the leeks grow better. In a light installation that brings art and science together, four solar-powered units emit a tailor-made spectrum across the leafy vegetables.