Share: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn I recommend visiting to read:%0A%0A {0} %0A%0A {1}

Francis Li: The Rise of End-user Buyers in Mainland China

Francis Li • 06/12/2022

Is there any change to office investment in mainland China since the COVID-19 pandemic?


While investors have tended to shy away from office assets in many global markets since the pandemic, office has maintained its leading share in the mainland China investment market. Our data shows that office investment represented 55% of the total all-property-sector investment volume in mainland China over the first three quarters of 2022, a slight increase from 48% in 2019. 

What has changed recently is the type of office buyers in the market. Increasingly, there is demand from owner occupiers, especially in the TMT, financial services, energy, and logistics sectors. Together, they accounted for nearly 50% of the total office investment in mainland China from 2020 to Q3 2022 – a dramatic increase from a five-year average of only 18% pre-Covid.

The large supply of newly completed office buildings, especially in Shanghai and Shenzhen, offers a good opportunity for end-users to acquire their own office buildings. In addition, as some of these local developers are heavily indebted, they are much more willing to offer a reasonable price for a quick return of capital. At the same time, these end users face less competition from traditional institutional investors, who are currently facing various headwinds such as rising vacancy rates, softening rentals, and the increasing cost of finance.

Interestingly, these end-user buyers appear to have a higher “purchasing power” than traditional investors, as they typically value the quality and location of a building over price. For illustration, our data showed that within the urban area of Shanghai, the top 10 highest-priced office transactions (by unit price) recorded in the first three quarters of 2022 were all by owner occupiers. Cushman & Wakefield capital markets team facilitated two office deals purchased by self-use buyers, one in Shanghai and another in Beijing.

While in the past our clients typically came from institutional investment companies, we are now seeing an increasing number of end-users expressing their interest in quality office assets, and we expect this to continue in the near future.  

These opinions are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cushman & Wakefield. To find out more about how Francis Li views opportunities in Greater China, click his profile and get in touch.

For more on investment opportunities across Asia Pacific, visit our Real Estate Investment Hub here.


Rethinking the office sector
Research • Workplace

Rethinking the office sector in Asia Pacific

Our report takes a deeper dive into the underlying dynamics and drivers across The APAC region’s major markets and provides a roadmap for asset optimisation.
Dominic Brown • 21/06/2023
2022 2023 Asia REIT Market Insight
Research • Investment / Capital Markets

2022-2023 Asia REIT Market Insight

The Asia REIT market has experienced declines in stock prices and overall market values over the last 12 to 18 months, predominantly due to the influence of the U.S. interest rate hikes. Despite this, the Asia REIT market has still performed better than its U.S. and European counterparts. The persistent effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to pose global challenges for cyclical commercial real estate asset sectors, although the impact of this is becoming increasingly counteracted by growing market attention to new economy sectors. 
Catherine Chen • 07/08/2023
2022-2023 Mainland China Investor Intentions and Cap Rate Survey Report
Research • Investment / Capital Markets

2022-2023 Mainland China Investor Intentions And Cap Rate Survey

As China continues to optimize its COVID-19 control policies in an effort to re-energize economic growth, commercial real estate (CRE) investors are reacting quickly to the changing environment. In response, as a joint undertaking of our Valuation & Advisory, Capital Markets, and Research teams, in late 2022 we conducted an investor intentions and cap rate expectations survey, collecting valuable responses from mainland China’s largest CRE investors, both domestic and international.
Catherine Chen • 22/12/2022
With your permission we and our partners would like to use cookies in order to access and record information and process personal data, such as unique identifiers and standard information sent by a device to ensure our website performs as expected, to develop and improve our products, and for advertising and insight purposes.

Alternatively click on More Options and select your preferences before providing or refusing consent. Some processing of your personal data may not require your consent, but you have a right to object to such processing.

You can change your preferences at any time by returning to this site or clicking on Privacy & Cookies.
These cookies ensure that our website performs as expected,for example website traffic load is balanced across our servers to prevent our website from crashing during particularly high usage.
These cookies allow our website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced features. These cookies do not gather any information about you that could be used for advertising or remember where you have been on the internet.
These cookies allow us to work with our marketing partners to understand which ads or links you have clicked on before arriving on our website or to help us make our advertising more relevant to you.
Agree All
Reject All