Regarding the effects of the Covid-19 Lockdown on incoming post-secondary student activity from China to the UK, existing students are making-do with online classes but have expressed missing out on the quality and efficiency of classroom teaching, in particular face to face communication with teachers and classmates. We are receiving questions about whether Chinese families will continue to send their children to the UK for education – and the answer is YES. However, it is too soon to tell the quantity.
In the short term, Coronavirus may have dampened our will to travel worldwide, and we do expect a certain reluctance to take long-haul flights. The English may fear going to the country of origin, and the Chinese may fear coming to the European hotspot where we are still in the throes of battling the virus. In the long term, there are other socio-economic and political factors at play. However, we are seeing a particularly swelling level of enquiries from Hong Kong looking at the UK as a potential “safe-haven” with the political uncertainties and the welcoming gesture made by Boris Johnson on the promises of citizenship.
For those students and families looking to emigrate out of China, achieving an education in the UK is still a desirable and valuable option. However; if we are considering Hong Kong’s situation with respect to political changes enforced by China, we may see a new wave of immigration via education.
From the Chinese perspective, UK has performed incredibly well to offer support during the lockdown and their prevention methods were also successful in flattening the curve. So will we see more Chinese students arriving to the UK post-Coronavirus any time soon? It might be a while.
Our China Desk has made a significant sale of £12 million over the lockdown period, and have continued to make strides with closing property investment deals where virtual viewings were sufficient to satisfy investor needs. While we know the bigger investors have been relatively minimally impacted, the investors with a more modest budget will wait to hedge their bets till the time they can fly over to view in person. We continue to provide a wealth of information, promoting our virtual viewings and virtual reality options to Chinese enquiries coming in from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vancouver; thus they gain a UK Sotheby’s International Realty education in UK real estate for both clients and buyers without the classroom setting.
Surrounded by a rewarding mix of modern style and iconic history, London Dock is situated in the heart of the capital, moments from Tower Bridge, The Tower of London, St Katharine Docks and the City. With a number of London underground and Docklands Light Railway stations within walking distance, London Dock offers quick and easy access to London’s main financial centres of the City and Canary Wharf, as well as the exciting cultural and creative neighbourhoods of Shoreditch, Whitechapel and Bermondsey.
Wapping is a truly authentic destination, filled with independent cafés and restaurants, which has for hundreds of years been a vibrant part of London life. The Prospect of Whitby – London’s oldest riverside pub – was popular with Charles Dickens, diarist Samuel Pepys and renowned artists Turner and Whistler. By the river, Hermitage Community Moorings attracts sailing barges, tugs and small boats, keeping alive Wapping’s river heritage.
In the first of our interviews, we are visiting Hong Kong to interview Binoche Chan, Chief Operating Officer at List Sotheby’s International Realty. Binoche has over 15 years of experience in sales, marketing and working with luxury properties. Hong Kong and London have maintained a special relationship with some of the world’s best luxury real estate. We will explore the best things to see and visit once the travel restrictions are lifted and what is happening on the ground in Hong Kong now.
1. Which city/area are you from?
2. What are the best things to do/see where you live?
Business and investment.
Vibrant night life entertainment, restaurants of all kinds, dim sum is so good here
Hiking – there are so many beautiful trails.
Water spots the beach and ocean is within 15 to 30 minutes.
History and sight-seeing Victoria Harbour, the Peak with day and night panoramas.
Street food – a daring challenge!
3. Tell us a little about your market?
Very resilient and fast trading market support by strong local demand.
Interest rate is very low and financing is easy to arrange.
Commercial Retail market is suffering a lot due to coronavirus.
4. What is your favourite listing currently on your books and why?
5. How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your location?
With the SARS experience in 2003, Hong Kong citizens were very careful and took immediate action to avoid the virus from spreading when the COVID-19 virus first hit Hong Kong in January 2019 with cases principally from mainland China. Everyone wears face masks and uses sanitiser or washes hand whenever possible. At first it was not too serious in Hong Kong but now, we are facing a second hit from cases coming back from all over the world. As a true international city, this is kind of unavoidable. However, given the discipline and efforts of everyone in the community, we have strong faith that Hong Kong will be one of the earliest cities to recover.
6. What are your best tips for living/working from home?
Routine and momentum are most important. You must try to keep a regular schedule similar to how you might work in your office so that you can keep the same responsiveness to your team and clients. Leverage the power of technology, conduct meetings with all kind of apps available so we can keep a closer relationship with your counterparts compare to using purely phone calls.
7. Your best real estate story?
Relationship passes on generations. Clients become friends. When being trusted, I think that’s the best reward. There are some very nice clients who rely on me beyond just pure real estate transactional services but also other things such as financial planning after selling a property. When their families has needs, I am the first one being called.
8. What is on your travel bucket list
Middle East countries and Eastern Europe.
9. and finally… When are you coming to visit us in London?!
I miss London. I can come back anytime when the virus is gone. Look forward to seeing you there!
武汉加油 – In the face of a health threat, it is important to support friends in need. Fear and discrimination has been on the rise in the face of the novel coronavirus outbreak. As UK citizens and as global employers, we support our friends in Asia and wish you well. Recover quickly.