One of the world’s best investment opportunities now is in China’s real estate market. The country’s property sector has been on a sizzling streak since late last year (2015), when the government relaxed its rules for foreign investment in the market. To make the most of the opportunity, here’s what you need to know about investing in property in China.

Red-hot real estate

The housing boom has spread from first-tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai to second-tier ones such as Xiamen and Nanjing. In September, home prices in 70 major cities across China increased by an average of 9.3 per cent year-on-year.

In fact, in China’s top four cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou – housing prices soared by an average of 31.9 per cent as compared to last year.

While several cities have rolled out cooling measures to prevent homes from becoming unaffordable, and to prevent housing bubbles, most analysts believe that property prices will continue to climb, especially in second and third-tier cities. 

Rely on research

Cities in China are officially ranked in “tiers” according to their population size and gross domestic product. The top-tier cities are Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, while the second-tier cities include Tianjin, Chongqing, Chengdu and Xiamen.

Cities in the top two tiers have large expatriate populations, good infrastructure and many amenities, such as restaurants and shops, making their homes attractive investment opportunities, especially for rental yields.

Even within cities, however, neighbourhoods can transform in a matter of years. Before investing in any property, have a look at the city’s master planning blueprint to make sure that the area is likely to have a prosperous future.   

Consider the periphery

Savvy investors will also want to consider third-tier cities such as Zhongshan and Zhuhai, as their home prices are likely to skyrocket once citizens and corporations begin to look for real estate beyond the increasingly crowded major cities.

In fact,  Zhongshan, Zhuhai, Dongguang and Huizhou were among the top 10 cities in China that had the fastest growing home prices in early 2016, according to the property research organisation China Index Academy. Their rise was fuelled by homebuyers who were priced out of the nearby Shenzhen. 

One of the most promising investment options in Zhongshan is Keppel Cove, a residential and marina lifestyle property by Keppel Land. The iconic development is located in the affluent Pearl River Delta region, on the MoDao Island in the Shenwan Town. 

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Keppel Cove is a premium residential cum marina lifestyle development in Zhongshan, Guangdong

Residents at Keppel Cove will be able to enjoy a marina clubhouse with diverse lifestyle offerings, and berths for over 400 boats. Keppel Cove will also house Guangdong’s first customs, immigration, quarantine and port-clearance (CIQP) post within a private marina. Cove is slated to be the premier residence-marina in the region. 

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Waterfront villas with a private berth

Keep an eye on announcements

With China’s fast pace of transformation, it will also pay to keep up with the government’s latest announcements. Still, with a wide array of investment choices across the country, there is no reason to wait any longer. China’s property market is still on the rise, and those who act fast might well find their fortunes lifted along with it.