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Spanish Portal Targets Property Buyers From China

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Idealista.com, one of Spain’s largest listing sites, has inked a deal with China portal Juwai.com to market Spanish properties to Chinese buyers.

Listings from the Spanish site will begin appearing this month on Juwai, which is trying to develop a world listings platform.

In addition, estate agents and developers advertising on idealista will be able to “purchase advertising on Juwai.com, upgrade their listings for greater visibility and enhance their own or their agency’s presence in China,” according to a press release.

While international listings swaps are hardly big news, the arrangement provides further evidence of the growing importance of Chinese buyers in the international market. Searches on Juwai.com for Spanish property grew by 235 per cent from Jan. 2013 to Jan. 2014, the site reports.

Chinese buyers have been taking advantage of new programs offering visas with large property purchases. In Portugal, Chinese and Hong Kong buyers accounted for 90 per cent of the 560 visas issued in the first year of the country’s program, according to idealista’s release. (Although Savills recently reported the percentage was 78 per cent; clearly Chinese buyers are dominating the program.)

In general, ties between China and Spain are growing, idealista notes. For example, Spanish exports to China doubled between 2009 and 2013, according to government data. And by 2015, Spain will attract 88 million Chinese tourists a year, a 25 per cent increase from 2011, the Iberchina consultancy forecasts.

Idealista will also advertise Italian and Portuguese properties on the site.

“Chinese buyers come to Southern Europe because it is both a little exotic to them and also part of the European Community,” said Jesus Encinar, founder and CEO of idealista.com, in the statement. “The quality of life, protected environment and — especially — property prices are very compelling for them.”

Listing on Juwai also get advertisements behind what is sometimes called the Great Firewall of China, idealista says. Sixty-nine of the world’s top websites are blocked in China, the company notes in its release.

Juwai has recently signed partnerships with agents in Portugal, Australia and New Zealand, as it attempts to grow its global platform. Since 2011, “Juwai.com has been the No. 1 website for Chinese who are buying property outside of China,” according to the release. Juwai markets 2.4 million listings in 53 countries; 82 per cent of its users are mainland Chinese

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