Foreign investors are definitely interested in U.S. real estate these days, and Chinese cash buyers are leading the pack. In California, Chinese buyers accounted for more than half (53 percent) of all foreign buyers in the state, while Detroit, Michigan; Orlando, Florida, Los Angeles, California; Irvine, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada are all enjoying a nice boost to their markets from Chinese buyers with cash. One broker estimates that she made 10 multi-million-dollar sales to Chinese clients just in the past year[1].  Home sales in Detroit may not be of the multi-million-dollar variety for the most part, but real estate professionals in the area are reporting a serious uptick in Chinese interest in the way of $100-dollar houses trending on China’s version of Twitter.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR)’s “2013 Profile of International Buying Activity,” international sales accounted for $68.2 billion in the 12 months that ended with March 2013. $34.8 billion of those sales were to “foreign clients with permanent residences outside the U.S.” who tend to buy for investment and vacation purposes. The NAR attributed the remainder of the money to sales to clients who are recent immigrants to the U.S. or “temporary visa holders residing for more than six months in the U.S. for professional, educational, or other reasons.” Chinese clients accounted for 12 percent of all international real estate purchases nationwide – lagging behind Canada’s 23 percent – but Chinese buyers tend to make high-dollar purchases and focus on particular areas of the country, making them a serious buying population[2].

 

[1] http://realestate.msn.com/blogs/post–chinese-buying-more-us-homes?ocid=vt_fbmsnre

[2] http://www.realtor.org/sites/default/files/2013-profile-of-international-home-buying-activity-2013-06.pdf

by Carole VanSickle