REAL ESTATE UPDATE: Chinese Investors Defrauded with Australian Real Estate...Is Vietnam Next?
REAL ESTATE UPDATE FROM JOSE LATOUR
[With the 2018 launch of AVS Fortune International Properties in Vietnam, the AVS Group joined a number of other companies in Vietnam which are marketing foreign properties to Vietnamese investors. Just as we've seen "fake agents" who collect EB-5 funds from investors only to disappear with the money (because they did not REALLY represent the EB-5 project), it looks like that same situation is rearing its ugly head when it comes to foreign property purchases. Before investing in any foreign real estate, PLEASE, folks, do your due diligence on the parties involved. Real estate opportunities in the U.S. exist for Vietnamese investors, but bear in mind that with an unpredictable President and many policy changes, the U.S. real estate market is changing rapidly. I've seen U.S. properties marketed online in Vietnam which, in my opinion, are NOT intelligent investments...so please be careful.]
The South China Morning Post, Hong Kong's principal English language newspaper, reported earlier this week that Ausin China, one of China's best known property and brokerage form marketing properties in Australia, has disappeared with over U.S.$49.6 million from "some 200 Chinese buyers of yet-to-be-built flats and houses at 15 Australian property projects". The deposits were allegedly misappropriated by Ausin China, which promptly shut down its 17 luxury offices in China in August. (Incredibly, when that happened and the news first broke, Ausin China told its panicked investors to "call the cops!"...seriously, see it here.)
The article went on to explain that “an increasing number of Chinese citizens are motivated by fear and frustration – fear that their quality of life is deteriorating and frustration that there are so few investment opportunities at home. They want much of their money out of the country where they feel it will be “safe” and where they can find a less fraught life for themselves and their families.”
Right now there is a lot of fingerpointing going one but one thing is clear: a LOT of people are out a LOT of money. From the information out there, my impression is that someone had a lot of money in deposits and came to the conclusion that it was best to disappear and start a new life with the hard-earned deposits of the would-be investors who had trusted the company.
I've been doing business in the Hong Kong and China since the early 90s and in Vietnam since 2011. I can tell you that I have seen a consistent trend where scams seen in China pop up in Vietnam weeks or months later. WIth the prevalence of online marketing in Vietnam nowadays, people investing in foreign property really need to go the extra step to verify the reputations of the property advisers with which they are working. Finding someone who has far too much at stake to simply "take the money and run" is the first step to protecting yourself; the second is investing in a SMART foreign property likely to appreciate versus leftover inventory properties already on price decline. Do your homework!!
Here's the full article about the accusations made against Ausin China: