When we first looked at Juwai two years ago, we immediately thought, yes, this makes a lot of sense. It’s an online property marketplace for a very particular niche – aimed at people in China looking to buy real estate overseas.
Now Juwai – which means “home overseas” – has grown to 1.5 million monthly users, browsing through 2.4 million real estate listings from 53 countries. The startup declined to reveal revenue figures.
A Juwai representative tells Tech in Asia that the top five countries for China’s real estate buyers last year were, in descending order, the US, Australia, the UK, Canada, and Germany. Juwai reckons that 63 million of China’s growing and increasingly wealthy middle to upper class individuals can afford to buy property overseas.
Room with a view
The overseas investment boom is proving controversial in many nations. A report in Australia’s The Age this week says that Chinese buyers are pricing young Australians out of the housing market. That article even mentions Juwai.
Chinese property buyers spent an estimated US$28.7 billion on residential property around the world in 2011, according to the startup. That’s still growing as wealth in China increases, yet crowded living conditions – as exemplified by the worsening pollution – make an overseas move an attractive option.
Juwai has just given its iPhone app a major overhaul so that users, when on an overseas trip, can use their phone’s GPS to find available properties nearby. Juwai’s iPhone app is here.
(Editing by Paul Bischoff)