The UK housing markets has been in turmoil in recent years as the country faces a slowdown in the global economic recovery and high unemployment.
But now a small but growing number of Chinese investors are buying up UK homes in a bid to boost the housing market, a new report has found.
The study by the Centre for Policy Studies found that in 2016, around 20% of Chinese home purchases were made by Chinese nationals.
That’s up from around 8% in 2015.
“That’s the highest number in the last five years,” said the study’s author and former MP for Birmingham Yardley, Richard Birtles.
The number of buyers rose by 5.6% between January and April, according to the Centre’s report, which analysed data from the Office for National Statistics.
This was the biggest jump since the middle of last year.
Chinese nationals accounted for over 80% of all buyers in the UK in 2016.
The Centre said that in the past five years, they have purchased 4 million homes and made more than £5 billion in property purchases.
They accounted for almost one-third of all home sales in the country in 2016 – and more than half of the total purchases.
China is the world’s biggest buyer of British property, and it’s one of the biggest sources of investment in the City.
In addition to the growth in Chinese buying, it’s also the biggest market for property in the world.
Birtels said it was a good sign that the Chinese government was taking action to prevent a bubble.
“They’re trying to prevent the property bubble from growing and then they’re taking steps to make sure the bubble doesn’t get bigger,” he said.
Burtles told Al Jazeera that it was “very unusual” for China to take a more active role in the housing markets.
“It’s very unusual for a country like China, which is a major consumer of housing, to have an official policy to stop the property bubbles.”
He said it could be that the government was simply trying to protect the housing sector.
But, he said, the government’s inaction could be a factor in the rise in prices.
The Government is also under pressure to take action to curb the property market in London, where prices have increased by over 50% since 2014, and the City of London, which has seen a surge in property prices in recent months.
“London has been the most vulnerable market in the US and Europe to the global slowdown,” Birtes said.
“And the UK has a relatively low level of government regulation of the housing and property markets.”
The study also found that a quarter of the home purchases in 2016 were for under £10,000, which was an increase from the previous year.
“What’s going on is that the number of purchases is going up because of the big increase in the number coming from Chinese nationals,” Burtes said, referring to Chinese nationals buying homes.
The number and quality of new home sales has increased over the past year, according the Centre, and more Chinese nationals have bought property than ever before. “
So, the Chinese nationals are buying in a lot of areas where they’re going to make more money.”
The number and quality of new home sales has increased over the past year, according the Centre, and more Chinese nationals have bought property than ever before.
It said that Chinese buyers accounted for nearly half of all new home purchases made in the year.
The researchers also found a significant increase in foreign buyers.
Foreign buyers accounted a third of all purchases in the first quarter of this year, up from just over two thirds in the same period last year, the Centre found.
According to the report, China’s total foreign buyer population rose from 9.7 million in 2016 to 13.1 million in 2017.
“In the UK, the number is actually up slightly, but it’s still a relatively small percentage of all the purchases,” said Birts.
The UK’s housing market is under strain, with the number and quantity of properties under stress.
The government is considering whether to increase stamp duty on foreign buyers, and is also pushing for more local investment.
“There’s a huge amount of investment and a lot more work to do to stabilise the housing industry,” said Richard Burtls.
But he said it would be difficult to see the Chinese as being the driving force behind the growth.
“The reason they’re doing this is they don’t have to pay the stamp duty, they don