The wealthy people are cashing out and fleeing China in large numbers after the Communist Party’s congress, with the latest sign coming from the surge of houses for sale in Shanghai’s financial hub.
According to the Liberty Times, after Xi Jinping secured a historic third term as leader of the Chinese Communist Party, he continued to put his hand in the pockets of the rich. Coupled with the worsening economic situation in China, the wealthy are departing the mainland in a big wave.
In Shanghai, a wealthy city, there were 135,400 pre-owned flats up for sale at the end of October. That accounts for a 30% surge from the end of last year.
That figure was calculated from local property brokers’ public information. Meanwhile, in October alone, data from the local housing administration bureau Fangdi.com.cn showed that the number of pre-owned houses for sale increased by nearly 8% from September.
According to the South China Morning Post, Shanghai’s housing market has slumped as wealthy homeowners are cashing out on fears of the continued downturn in the local real estate market.
They also want to leave the country and plan to transfer their money overseas with them.
Song Yulin, a senior manager with property agency 5I5J in the Pudong New Area, said: “An increasing number of wealthy people are looking to offload their property assets as they bet a downturn of the local home market will continue.”
Song added: “Most of them are either considering migration or planning to allocate part of their assets overseas.”
Eddy Zhou is a 48-year-old Shanghai resident. He revealed that his family plans to migrate to Portugal, so he will sell his more than 10 million yuan ($1.4 million) house as soon as possible to avoid a further market downturn.
Zhou also predicted that more middle-class residents could leave Shanghai and China in the coming years as they worry about a bleak economic outlook.
According to the South China Morning Post, after Xi Jinping secured a third term, Xi is predicted to implement his “common prosperity” policy, which would narrow the wealth gap and curb private wealth accumulation.
There have been mounting worries that a major policy shift would eat into the rich’s nest eggs.
The SCMP, citing another homeowner, said that China could levy a property tax soon, so many house owners with more than one flat could sell at least one to dodge the tax.
In Shanghai, house prices had surged since the late 1990s, spurred by the city’s booming economy and inflow of professionals. The market was still stable during the citywide COVID-19 lockdown.
However, local agents revealed that since September, landlords in Shanghai have had to offer a 5-10% discount to attract buyers.