Business / Companies

High-tech companies a growing force in Beijing real estate market

By Zhang Hao and Hu Yuanyuan ( Updated: 2015-07-31 17:20

Internet and high-tech enterprises are expected to be an increasingly important force in Beijing’s real estate market, according to a report released Wednesday by Cushman & Wakefield, a New York-based international real estate adviser.

Billy Lo, the general manager of Cushman & Wakefield's Beijing office, predicted that a series of transactions that are currently under negotiation would be completed over the rest of 2015, especially in the Wangjing-Jiuxianqiao submarket.

"More and more market participants are trying out innovative financing methods, leading to the maturing of the 'Internet + finance + real estate' model," Lo said.

Real estate companies and high-tech companies co-developed and co-launched a number of innovative financing initiatives in Beijing's real estate market in the second quarter of 2015, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s report.

Property developer Greenland Group and e-commerce company Alibaba launched in April an online wealth management product dubbed "Dichan Bao", which helps fund small developers.

Mainland China's first approved real estate investment trust (REIT), Penghua Qianhai Vanke REIT, went public on June 26. In the same month, Dalian Wanda launched a REIT-like Internet-based wealth management product.

These initiatives broaden the financing channels available for the real estate industry while providing more convenient and accessible products for investors, according to the Cushman & Wakefield's report.

The "Co-working Space" policy introduced by China's State Council in January 2015 to promote mass entrepreneurship led to booming investment in co-working spaces and industrial real estate in Beijing, according to the report.

A number of developers that provide shared office space, such as UrWork, plan to launch more projects in the outlying areas of Beijing over the rest of 2015.

According to the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics, investment in China's real estate market totaled 127.3 billion yuan ($20.5 billion) from January to May 2015, up 22 percent year-on-year.

Total investment in office development rose by 3.3 percent year-on-year to 21.9 billion yuan, while that in non-office commercial property development grew by 38.1 percent year-on-year to 43.7 billion yuan.

The government's lowering of the reserve requirement ratio and interest rates in the second quarter of 2015 eased financing pressure on investors and improved the overall investment climate, according to Cushman & Wakefield's report.

"Internet and high-tech enterprises will continue to be an important force in Beijing's real estate market, due to the rapid development of China's Internet sector," Lo said.

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