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Leading Brokers Weigh In

According to a report published in the June edition of RISMedia’s Power Broker Report regarding the increasing number of buyers from China, “One of the hottest trends in American real estate right now isn’t coming from America. It’s the millions of new Chinese buyers that are investing in residential properties here in the USA. They’re wealthy. They’re motivated. And they’re very savvy when it comes to buying real estate.”

Consider the following statistics from China-based global real estate listing site, Juwai.com:

• Chinese are so eager to invest in North American property that sometimes they bring the money with them on the plane. Last summer, a Chinese man was stopped at the airport for having around $177,500 in hundred-dollar bills stuffed in his wallet, pockets and under the lining of his suitcase. In the U.S., Chinese citizens are the top source of airport cash seizures after Americans.

• Chinese are the world’s fastest-growing property buyer demographic. They spent $7.2 billion on overseas property in 2009. This is projected to climb to $114 billion by 2015.

• One-third of Chinese millionaires have assets overseas, and real estate is their preferred asset type, according to research by the Hurun Report.


Ed Krafchow, chairman of the board, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Mason-McDuffie

In the San Francisco area, for example, Ed Krafchow, chairman of the board, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Mason-McDuffie, estimates that foreign buyers comprise 20 to 30 percent of the market right now, which represents an increase of 300 to 400 percent from where it was 10 years ago. A lot of the surge in foreign – particularly Chinese – interest in American real estate comes from the emergence of the nation’s middle class and the explosion of the Chinese Internet, particularly social media.

“We have a very active market,” says Krafchow. “Business has been particularly booming around college communities as immigrants look to put down roots where a child might be getting an American education, or many try to move to ethnic neighborhoods where they may know people or be more familiar with the local scene.”

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