(ECNS) - Chinese parents have become a major force in global real estate by buying houses overseas, where their children often live during studies abroad, the Beijing News reports.
Days after the end of the national university entrance exam, known as the Gaokao, a student named Zhao Yicong (alias) started packing for Australia, where he will begin studying next month. His parents also plan to fly there and buy a property, where their son will live during his education.
It has become normal practice in China for parents to fully sponsor their children's university education. According to a survey, 30 percent of Chinese students had even received money from their parents to develop relationships during their time on campus.
Parents buy houses overseas so their children can live near campus, yet they also profit from renting or reselling it later, property insiders have said.
Applications to study in the United States and UK have increased by 40 percent from a year earlier, while the growth rates for Canada and Australia are 30 percent and 20 percent, according to Shi Ruixue, CEO of Global House Buyer Co Ltd, a Beijing-based agency that helps clients buy overseas property.
A total of 459,800 Chinese students left to study abroad in 2014, mostly at their own expense, the Ministry of Education has disclosed.
A closer study shows that Chinese students studying abroad are getting younger and younger. Increasingly, parents are sending their children to study overseas during middle or high school.
Last year, there were almost 4,300 new enrollments of Chinese teenagers in Australian public and private schools, an increase of about 20 percent from the previous year.
In Jinan city, East China's Shandong province, 15 percent of all students studying abroad were previously from elementary and middle schools, a figure that has increased to about 25 percent, the local newspaper Life Daily reported.
Outbound commercial property investment from the Chinese mainland last year totaled $16.5 billion, up 46 percent from 2013, according to a report by Jones Lang LaSalle, a U.S. real estate services company.
The figure may reach $20 billion by the end of 2015, with parents whose children are studying abroad pushing sales, the Beijing News report said.
An estate agent with much experience in overseas housing investment said that properties near famous universities are always in demand, among both students and locals.
A Chinese student studying in Britain said that Chinese, South Koreans and Japanese are the largest groups buying houses near universities. They usually have the lowest down payments, and then use rental income from the properties to cover their mortgages, as well as tuition and other expenses.