Chinese furniture investment: Top pieces heading back home

Rare Chinese furniture, once the preserve of wealthy investors in the West, is returning to its homeland at a considerable pace.

That is the view of San Francisco-based Oriental antiques dealer Jerry Janssen, who has been in the business for 40 years.

Chinese furniture, such as this Qing dynasty table, is hot property

"[Previously] we could go over there and get wonderful things for little money and bring them over here and make a profit," he told the Financial Times newspaper.

"Now it goes in the opposite direction. Chinese buyers are over here buying everything and taking it back over there," adding that this influx of new buyers is seeing prices rise.

But why are the Chinese buying now? It has everything to do with economics rather than a change in taste.

China now has the world's third highest number of millionaires, with 1.4m, having added 193,000 in the space of a year, according to Boston Consulting Group's 2012 global wealth report.

China's growing wealth boosted the country's share of global art sales to 30% in 2011, up from 23% in 2010, according to a recent European Fine Art Foundation report. In the process China overtook the US as the globe's biggest art market.

The Chinese art and antiques sector grew by 64% in 2011, the report states.

Our advice here at Paul Fraser Collectibles is to enter the Chinese furniture market before the country's economy grows further and values reach a whole new level.

And if you want to know what's going to be hot over the coming years, sign up to our free weekly newsletter.

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