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China Real Estate Investment Report 2016: The Rise of Domestic Capital

JLL’s latest research shows the growing prominence of Chinese domestic capital, which will carry on driving investment volumes to structurally higher levels in the years to come

​​​​SHANGHAI, April 21, 2016 – JLL has released a new investment report entitled <Gearing Up For a New Era of Domestic Capital>, in which the firm outlines the growing prominence of domestic capital in China’s real estate investment market. The paper highlights the record-breaking year for commercial real estate investment in China in 2015, with a total value of transacted assets reaching approximately RMB 150 billion, three-quarters of which were driven by domestic investment. 

Supported by a range of savvy investors including private equity funds, corporate, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and insurance firms, China’s domestic investment has expanded strongly, with a compound annual growth rate of 15.4% over the past eight years. “Given the escalating size of China’s real estate investment universe and improving market transparency,” the report states, “investment activity in China is set to expand further in the years to come,” with domestic players still to provide the greatest contribution.  

The report goes on to identify five trends as the major forces paving the way for China’s domestic investors to carry on driving investment volumes to structurally higher levels:

  1. SOEs are poised to become significant sellers in the market: With future SOE reform expected to break up real estate holdings of inefficient state-owned firms, further opportunities will emerge for acquisitions and the repositioning of assets.
  2. Chinese insurers are likely to emerge as some of the largest buyers domestically and globally: China’s deregulation has allowed domestic insurers to become one of the most active groups of institutional players. As insurance companies grow more experienced with real estate investment, JLL anticipates their investments will expand and even accelerate in the years ahead.
  3. Chinese private equity funds will expand their footprints: China’s real estate private equity (REPE) has the potential to develop significantly, and could even receive a boost from the activity of its domestic insurers. 
  4. Securitisation is set to catalyse the next wave of investment activities: The Chinese government has been testing the concept of securitisation through numerous pilot programmes across the country for years, and the role of securitisation will grow as the government improves tax and regulatory clarity.
  5. Innovative methods will supplement mainstream investment channels: Applications like crowd-funding and peer-to-peer lending are just two examples of technology-enabled innovations in the real estate investment sphere. JLL expects certain technologies to be embraced even faster in China than they have been in the West.

​“China’s real estate investment universe will continue to grow in line with its economy to accommodate changing investment appetites,” said Anthony Couse, Head of Capital Markets for JLL China.  “China’s domestic investors are becoming increasingly sophisticated and competitive in capturing investment opportunities both domestically and globally. Foreign investors will no doubt continue to increase their footprints across China, but it will be domestic players that still provide the greatest contribution.” 

China’s real estate market has expanded rapidly over the past several years – The total size of its institutionally invested real estate universe in 2015 was estimated to be second only to that of the US, at USD 806 billion – and JLL predicts that it is likely to maintain a swift pace going forward. “At the same time,” Anthony says, “we are seeing a greater diversity of domestic investors accumulating both the size and experience to build, purchase and sell real estate assets on an unprecedented scale.” 

With the five aforementioned trends continuing to drive the nation’s real estate transaction volumes higher, Anthony concluded: “We expect to see 2015’s record broke several times in the years ahead, with domestic capital still providing most of the momentum.”

JLL’s China Capital Markets team is composed of over 50 experienced property professionals, who offer a diverse range of skills, experience and strong local industry knowledge. The team works closely with JLL’s regional Capital Markets teams to ensure clients have access to the widest possible pool of investors and capital in both local and overseas markets.

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​>>>Click to read the full JLL 2016 China Real Estate Investment Report 
​>>>Click to view the infog​raphics of the JLL 2016 China Real Estate Investment Report
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About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. A Fortune 500 company with annual fee revenue of $5.2 billion and gross revenue of $6.0 billion, JLL has more than 230 corporate offices, operates in more than 80 countries and has a global workforce of more than 60,000. On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services for a property portfolio of 4.0 billion square feet, or 372 million square meters, and completed $138 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2015. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $56.4 billion of real estate assets under management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit

JLL has over 50 years of experience in Asia Pacific, with over 32,000 employees operating in 83 offices in 16 countries across the region. The firm was named ‘Best International Property Consultancy’ and ‘Best Property Consultancy Asia Pacific’ at the International Property Awards Final 2015 as well as number one real estate advisor in Asia at the 2015 Euromoney Real Estate Awards.  

In Greater China, the firm was named ‘Best Property Consultancy in China’ at the International Property Awards Asia Pacific 2015, and has more than 2,200 professionals and 14,000 on-site staff providing quality real estate advice and services in over 80 cities across the country.​​​