Rich Chinese sure want set up house elsewhere: today’s news show villa for sale in Italy ($16m) and sold in Australia ($31m)

The Australian home in Sydney that just sold for $40m ($31m US)

Italy — For sale online to a wealthy Chinese buyer: historic Italian villa, starting price $16.4 million, possibility of permanent residency thrown in.

A sprawling luxury property near the Italian city of Verona — home to Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet — was put up for auction on Thursday on Taobao, the flagship site of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Photographs showed a pale two-storey building with a red tile roof amid grounds featuring manicured lawns and neatly trimmed hedges dotted with statues surrounding a fountain. Inside, a well-stocked library was pictured, dominated by a large table…

The story claims no one bid on it and was just a stunt. But the case in Australia is very real:

Mandalay, on Wolseley Rd, Point Piper, Sydney, fetches $40m ($31m US):

One of Sydney’s finest mansions, Mandalay, sold at 11pm last night to a Chinese immigrant for $40 million.

Fronting 87-89 Wolseley Road, Point Piper, the property has been on and off the market for years. Its initial asking price was $56 million.

The sale is the second highest in Sydney this year and follows the $41 million paid by another Chinese buyer for the sprawling Villa del Mare… The agents refused to reveal the identity of the buyer, saying they had signed confidentiality agreements.

Australia and BC are geographically closer (for trips home). I am not sure which one attracts more: the climate in Australia certainly is a winner.