One of the world’s biggest brokers of multi-million dollar homes is setting up an office in Beijing as Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC announced recently that it has secured approval to conduct business in mainland China.
In an effort that appears motivated by the demand among China’s newly wealthy consumers to buy homes overseas, the luxury residential broker has signed an agreement with Beijing Xin Rui Zeng Yi International Real Estate Brokerage Co. Ltd., which is owned by Plus Investment Holding Group (Beijing), to open Beijing Sotheby’s International Realty.
In an announcement, the company said that Liu Gang will serve as chairman of Beijing Sotheby’s International Realty, Kevin Corbett will serve as chief executive officer, and Jim Hao as general manager. Beijing Sotheby’s International Realty is scheduled to open in the first quarter of this year.
“Doing business in China is a key milestone for our brand,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC.
China’s Wealthy Want Overseas Homes
China’s consumers have shown an increasing appetite for luxury homes in foreign markets during recent years. A report issued in December by real estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle found that Chinese investment in London real estate has risen over 1500% since 2010, increasing from US$88.2 million to over US$1.63 billion at the end of quarter three 2013.
China’s local developers have already begun launching projects in global markets, to cater to demand from their Chinese clients for homes in other countries.
In December, Greenland Group opened its its first project in Sydney, Australia and sold RMB1.5 billion (US$246 million) in homes in the first weekend of sales. The Shanghai-based developer has additional projects underway in the US, South Korea and Southeast Asia. Vanke, Xinyuan Real Estate, and other top developers are also developing projects in the US for sale to China’s newly affluent.
Building Out Sotheby’s Team
“Our team has extensive experience with high-end consumer goods, and together with the Sotheby’s International Realty brand’s global reach, we can combine our local knowledge to create a trusted resource for those seeking to invest in Beijing’s real estate,” said Gang. “We look forward to further growth and expansion in the key luxury markets of mainland China.”
With the opening of Beijing Sotheby’s International Realty, the Sotheby’s International Realty(R) brand will have 27 offices throughout Asia in Australia, Beijing, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has nearly 14,000 sales associates located in approximately 680 offices in 49 countries and territories worldwide.