Is The Macau Real Estate Bubble On The Rise?

Is The Macau Real Estate Bubble On The Rise?

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Is The Macau Real Estate Bubble On The Rise?

When news about the possible onset of a deadly pandemic was released, many people rushed to Las Vegas and Macao to gamble away. While there were reported cases of the pandemic, there has still been no confirmation or evidence to show that the said outbreak actually broke out in either Macau or Las Vegas. This made many worried that they might be next. One would then start to worry about the safety of gaming enthusiasts at these places. However, authorities from both Macau and Las Vegas stated that there are no current reports of contamination of either Macau or Las Vegas for a considerable period of time. Reports of contamination have surfaced due to mishandling or improper storage of contaminated materials.

In a press conference, Steve Ross, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVCS) stated that the company is “fully committed” to provide customers with “a quality experience every time”. He went on to state that the company is “monitoring the situation in great earnest”, adding that they are “fully prepared” in case of an outbreak. However, the headwinds are said to be hitting the Macau casino industry harder than the Las Vegas Sands. The headwind is said to be related to the spread of the deadly virus known as the coronavirus.

As outlined by Ross, this outbreak will not be the first one to hit either Macau or Las Vegas Sands since the two gambling destinations have both experienced their own pandemic outbreaks. The previous outbreak lasted for approximately nine months, while the current one is believed to have affected the Chinese people. The pandemic was named the Wukan outbreak after the town of Wukan, situated in China. The name Wukan literally means “of the river”.

The decline of the Chinese gaming activity has been followed by a simultaneous downturn in Macau. It should be noted that Macau’s economy is based on the construction, maintenance, and operation of hotels, residential rentals, and businesses. The downturn in Macau will have a direct impact on the tourism industry. The decline in Macau’s housing market will result in a drop in home sales, which is expected to affect all the other industries of the region. In light of the current scenario, the Macau government has issued a strong warning to its residents, advising them to take precautionary measures such as self-vetting their bodies prior to visiting any of the casinos in the area.

While the Chinese government issued a stern warning, many analysts are expressing doubts over the sustainability of the Macau commercial properties. They believe that the rapid fall in China’s gross gaming revenue will negatively affect Macau’s gross gaming revenue in the same way that it affected the casinos in Vegas. However, some analysts see a silver lining in the form of a rebound in property prices. They believe that Macau will experience a short period of appreciation before the downturn turns into a long period of downside pressure. Although analysts disagree about the timing of the correction, the downward trend of Macau’s property prices is similar to the downward trend of Las Vegas’ real estate prices.

Although the Chinese authorities issued a stern warning about the pandemic, they still seem to be expecting the Chinese people to overcome their financial crisis. According to analysts, the current problem in China will lead to stricter monetary policies in China and ultimately, the devaluation of the Chinese currency. This will cause investors to focus on stable assets such as European commercial properties, rather than raw resources like oil. In Europe, there is already a strong demand for commercial properties due to the current economic crisis. It is believed that the crisis in Macau will force investors to focus on European property, rather than on properties in Macau.

Many European property investors also see the crisis in Macau as a golden opportunity to make quick profits in a rapidly declining real estate market. With a superior balance sheet, investors can easily capture the Macau flats market before the downturn in China becomes a permanent feature on the global real estate charts. With a good rapport with local officials and a sound strategy, investors can successfully capture properties at bargain prices in Macau, while the Chinese authorities to make a major effort to devalue the Chinese currency.