Occurring twice each year, Golden Week is a week-long national holiday that sees business in China grind to a halt as citizens enjoy a week of travelling, feasting and spending time with loved ones.
Between 1 and 8 October, the China National Tourism Administration estimates that some 710 million Chinese citizens will be on the move, as a full half of the population makes the most of the holiday period.
While regular business operations all but cease during Golden Week, there are some areas, such as investment, where business booms over the course of the holiday. As this particular holiday coincides with China’s Mid-Autumn Festival, making an eight-day break instead of a seven-day one, the boon to companies and sectors that catch Chinese investors’ eye is expected to be even bigger than usual.
One sector to particularly benefit from Golden Week is the international property sector. According to a Juwai survey, 57% of its Chinese consumers have plans to purchase property while overseas this Golden Week.
“With nearly half of China’s population on the move during Golden week, obviouslt business slows down. This gives business owners and the higher end Chinese property buyers the perfect opportunity to visit a number of countries and seek out that ideal property investment. With a weaker sterling since the Brexit result in 2016, the UK will be one of such country being visited.
“Since June 2016 there has been an increase in Chinese interest in properties in the UK mainly due to the weaker GBP against the RMB. But the UK still remains behind the United States and Australia for countries of choice for Chinese buyers due to concern about what the future holds for the UK once it leaves the EU in 2019.”
James Trescothick, Chief Global Strategist, easyMarkets
In terms of the UK, cities such as Manchester and Liverpool remain popular with Chinese investors and look to reap the benefits of the extended Golden Week.
“With a whole week off for Golden Week, it’s an ideal time for Chinese buyers to scour the planet for enticing investment opportunities and Manchester has all the elements needed to be a big hit.
“China is such a vast market and interest in UK property is increasing with each passing year. Projects like Herculaneum Quay in Liverpool, where construction is well underway, are particularly attractive as their looming completion dates mean that buy-to-let investors can already see their end goal.”
Jean Liggett, CEO, Properties of the World
Beyond the UK, it is another kind of gold that Chinese investors are seeking – namely, Golden Visas.
“The introduction of the Golden Visa schemes in Portugal, Spain and Turkey have driven real interest from Chinese buyers. High net worths are particularly attracted to the offer of full residency in Western nations through these Golden Visas and we regularly receive a good number of enquiries for properties priced at €500,000 or more for just this reason.
“In terms of locations, Chinese buyers still seem keen on prime locations such as Marbella and the Golden Mile on the Costa del Sol, Portugal’s capital Lisbon and cosmopolitan Istanbul in Turkey. Golden Week has traditionally been a busy time for us fielding enquiries from potential “fly and buy” Chinese buyers looking to view properties for sale whilst on their holiday travels.”
Julian Walker, Director, Spot Blue International Property
With Golden Week well underway, investment companies of all kinds are dashing around, seeking to satisfy their Chinese investors’ demands over the holiday period, hoping to make this a golden week for the investment sector, as well as for China.