by Michael Krieger
At least part of the message is beyond dispute: the cash flowing out of China into assets around the world has hit tsunami proportions, driven by fears of a slowing economy and a declining currency. Estimates peg the amount Chinese investors and companies moved out of the country last year at nearly $1 trillion, up more than sevenfold from 2014. Much of that money is being spent by Chinese companies looking to snap up Western assets, such as ChemChina’s US$43-billion bid to take over Swiss seed company Syngenta, or to pay down U.S. dollar-denominated debts. But a sizable portion was directed into overseas real estate.
The frenzy has taken a visible toll on one of the world’s “most livable cities,” resulting in hollowed-out neighborhoods, absentee investors, and vacant, decrepit homes as huge numbers of investment properties simply sit unoccupied. What statisticians have been slow to chart has been ruefully documented in popular blogs like Vancouver Vanishes and Beautiful Empty Homes of Vancouver, which tracks empty, multi-million-dollar character and heritage houses.
– From May’s post: “China is Buying Canada” – Notes From a Gigantic Real Estate Bubble
If I were a Canadian citizen, I’d be up in arms about the following story. Ironically, it’s Chinese-Canadians who are bearing the brunt of the intimidation and censorship (for now).
Excerpts from the New York Times: