Saturday, 17 December 2016

Beijing is named as the world's best place to invest in property what about London


It's heralded as the next global superpower. And after beating the West with its economic growth, education and productivity, China has also topped the table in terms of real estate - with four of its sprawling mega-cities making it into the top five of a Global Cities Index.

China's capital Beijing, home to around 22 million people, has jumped from fourth place to pole position in the index from fund manager Schroders, which ranks cities according to their future prospects and desirability of real estate.

Despite the ongoing machinations of Brexit, London is the only city not in China or the US to make it into the top 10.

It jumped two places to number eight - partly down to the combination of high demand alongside Green Belt planning rules that limit supply and increase the value of existing real estate. On the up: Beijing, the world's third most populous city, steals the top spot from Shanghai

After Beijing, the next three places have been bagged by fellow Chinese cities Shanghai, Shenzhen and Tianjin.

In fact, New York was the only non-Chinese city to sneak into the top five, falling from second to fifth place.

After that, North America features heavily in the index, with Los Angeles, Dallas, Huston and Chicago all making it in to the top 10. Overall, the US takes 17 of the 30 places on the index.

The Global Cities 30 index is based on a range of factors, including the projected growth of the economy, disposable incomes over the next decade and the size of the working population.

It's compiled by the team behind the Schroder Global Cities Real Estate fund.

The fund's aim is to invest in shares that should benefit from strong demand for commercial property in the world's most highly-ranked global cities.

In particular, it looks for cities that face restrictions on how far they can sprawl, whether through geographical limits or planning rules, such as London's green belt.

The essential idea behind the investment strategy is that these are the cities where global growth is concentrated and that their enduring attraction gives companies that own a slice of them considerably long-term pricing power.

The cities have a Warren Buffett-style moat.

The 'ideal' global city has high projected growth, a growing population and skilled workers with high disposable incomes.

The top ranking cities also tend to boast excellent universities and strong infrastructure.

They are economically diverse and draw in residents by offering plenty of cultural and leisure activities.

Hugo Machin, co-head of Schroder Global Real Estate Securities, said that disposable income - the amount of money the population has to spend on non-essential items - is the only thing now holding Chinese cities back.

'Chinese cities continue to grow at a rapid rate as the country industrialises. GDP and retail sales are growing quickly.

'The only one of the five factors that holds these cities back is disposable income but the rate of growth there is strong even if the absolute number is below peers.

'We expect these Chinese cities to become increasingly important and play a larger part in our investment universe in the coming years.'

Due to Chinese rules, many of the cities in the country are difficult for individuals to access by investing directly, but there are other ways to gain exposure, for example through Hong Kong-listed real estate companies.

Machin added that London 'still remains one of our favourite cities due to its highly skilled workforce, large tourist demand and cultural appeal and we believe it will continue to thrive'.



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