“A WIN-WIN SITUATION”
(Aug. 7, 2018) — There might be over 8,000 miles in distance between Liverpool and China but their long-shared history belies that vast physical chasm.
The first Chinese sailors and immigrants touched down in Liverpool from the mid to late 19th century. Their ancestors and others who have since joined them now form part of the oldest Chinese community in Europe.
Liverpool has since twinned with Shanghai and relations between the Northern Powerhouse city and the People’s Republic of China are bigger and better than ever. It may signal a fresh wave of investment into a city enjoying a regenerative renaissance unlike any other in the history of the UK.
The timing couldn’t be more perfect for either side. As trade rows and disputes with the United States deepen and begin to sink their teeth into the Chinese economy, China has responded with a raft of foreign investment deregulations. It opens the door for Chinese investors to take their money out of the country and aim it at markets always looking for fresh investment.
The UK, reeling from uncertainty ahead of its divorce from the European Union in 2019 and with the Pound perpetually unsteady, will be eager suitors for a fresh influx of Chinese wealth and investment. This is an economic petri dish that demands the microscope be placed upon it.
Chinese investors looking for sound and solid investment in the UK need look no further than Liverpool. The shared history between country and city is a stepladder to success for both. With good relations already in place, there are already several avenues potential Chinese investors could explore.
Chinese interest in and demand for buy-to-let properties has grown rapidly during 2018. Liverpool has seen a massive 160% increase in queries from Chinese buy-to-let property investors across the past eight months. By comparison, similar enquiries made regarding properties in London were down by nearly half. Investors are attracted to Liverpool’s much-vaunted combination of low prices and high yields that finds areas of the city outperforming others across the country by a sizeable amount. As a result, Liverpool is the third most popular city for Chinese buy-to-let property investors.
Liverpool’s buy-to-let property market is based upon the foundations of its high student population. With 70,000 students attending any of the city’s four main higher education institutions, the demand for high end luxury student accommodation has never been higher, and new builds and developments are springing up all the time, waiting for buyers and investment to snap them up. Buy-to-let property investment companies based in Liverpool such as RW Invest find their student property builds flying off the shelves, such is the demand for luxury developments in the city.
The University of Liverpool has a well-established relationship with the People’s Republic of China. In 2004, the University entered into a partnership with Xi’an Jiaotong University in the Shaanxi province. The result, Xi’an Jiaoton-Liverpool University, now boasts over 12,000 students. A new South Campus is currently in development.
This academic partnership goes both ways, and Liverpool is known across the UK for its high volume of international students from China. Chinese students far exceed any other non-British nationality on Liverpool campuses and the lure to Chinese investors will be strong.
Chinese students will be more likely to have more money to spend than their peers and will be more inclined to take out longer tenancies than their domestic student peers. It’s a win-win situation for Chinese investors, who reap the benefits of Liverpool’s notably low prices and high yields and the stability of longer tenancy agreements means those yields will last for longer.
Furthermore, investing in Liverpool, and its wealth of Chinese students, conforms to the models adhered by China itself. China has always predicated its domestic and overseas economies on protectionism; making sure that China’s needs and interests are the primary focus. Now, Chinese investors, encouraged by the latest raft of deregulations, can make secure and profitable overseas investments that are made with the future of China’s younger generations in mind.
For Liverpool, and the UK as a whole, this influx of cash and strengthening of relations can only bring positive change and influence to the markets.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.