Two Asian online property platforms Juwai.com in China and SUUMO.jp of Japan have signed a deal aiming to make it easier for Chinese property buyers to find and purchase Japanese real estate.
Operated by Recruit Sumai Company Ltd SUUMO.jp is one of the largest real estate web portals in Japan, presiding over JP¥83.9 billion (US$750 million) of annual sales.
Housing choices are facilitated through a diverse range of channels, including online sites, free magazines, commercial magazines, face-to-face and online consulting services and a new model home village.
Advertisers include developers, construction companies and local builders (offering new condominiums and single-family homes), property-leasing firms, brokers handling existing housing and remodelers.
The agreement enables SUUMO.jp to begin marketing properties from its Japanese real estate advertisers on Juwai.com.
In turn, this opens the way for Juwai.com to make a greater number of Japanese listings available to its more than 2 million monthly Chinese users.
In 2015, Juwai.com’s users made 191 per cent more buyer inquiries about real estate listings in Japan than in 2014.
The aggregate value of the property they inquired about in the latter year was US$532 million. Just over 73 per cent of Juwai.com’s users report that “investment” is a motivation. Tokyo is the most popular Japanese city for Chinese property buyers, followed by Osaka and Kyoto.
Juwai.com CEO Charles Pittar confirms the agreement aims to expand the number of Japanese listings offered to users.
"SUUMO.jp is the largest real estate portal in Japan, a very popular country for Chinese buyers. They admire its cultural and economic attainments and believe Tokyo especially is a very good investment," Pittar says.
“Japan is also popular with Chinese students, as the two economies are closely entwined and Japan is only a three-hour flight from China. It is much easier logistically for students and their families than the US or Europe.”
"The agreement should result in more Chinese buyer inquiries for Japanese residential real estate, which means more potential transactions.
“It’s hard for many people to recall a time when Chinese weren’t the most active buyers of international real estate, but they only really began acquiring overseas property four or five years ago," Pittar adds.
"The cycle is just beginning, and we expect Chinese offshore investment to set new records by 2020."
Chinese buyers acquired US$52 billion of international real estate in 2014, an amount that is expected to grow to US$220 billion by 2020.