What is Golden Week? It’s a week-long holiday in which most Chinese are free from work. The next Golden Week begins on 1 October 2013. Another kicks off 30 January 2014.
Golden Week was originally intended as a time for Chinese families to celebrate together. In recent years, however, upper middle class and wealthy Chinese have used the long holidays to combine tourism, luxury shopping and property hunting.
That emphasis on property is what is making “Golden Week” a familiar term in real estate offices around the world. That pushes up revenues at the No. 1 Chinese international property portal, Juwai.com.
“Many real estate agents and developers increase their marketing effort in an effort to attract Chinese investors to their listings during the holiday,” said Andrew Taylor, co-CEO of Juwai.com.
“Golden Week holidays are a chance to build relationships with buyers you can’t meet in person during most of the year. If you get a Chinese buyer, you may just want to put aside everything else and show them around for a few days. They have limited time before they have to fly home, and it’s in your interest to find a property for them while they are in country.
“Chinese buyers are sometimes willing to pay slightly more, because of the time pressure they are under.”
Chinese individuals hold US$13.1 trillion in total investable assets, according to China Merchants Bank and Bain & Company. That’s twice as much as in 2008. Approximately US$655 billion, estimates CBRE, are allocated to overseas real estate markets. Also, there are an estimated 60 million middle class Chinese with sufficient resources to invest in overseas property.
China’s Top 10 Property Buying Destinations*
(Ranking as travel destination for wealthy Chinese shown in parentheses)**
- United States (2)
- Australia (7)
- United Kingdom (5)
- Canada (12)
- Singapore (3)
- Germany (9)
- Italy (6)
- Thailand (14)
- New Zealand (15)
- Spain (N/A)
* Source: Activity on Juwai.com, including property searches, search results, page views and inquiries. ** Source: Chinese Luxury Traveller 2013 report, Hurun.
Travel by Chinese is surging. More travel internationally than the citizens of any other country. This year, 94 million will travel internationally, reports China’s National Tourism Administration. That is 15% more than the 83 million in 2012, which itself was 18.4% greater than the year earlier. The total number of Chinese travelling abroad, says the China Tourism Academy, will reach some 200 million by 2020.