Chinese buyers pour cash into US housing market

by Kelli Rogers12 Jul 2013
Chinese buyers accounted for 18% of the $68.2 billion that foreigners spent on homes in the past year, so if you aren't marketing to Chinese buyers already, you need to get moving, Juwai.com co-CEO Simon Henry told MPA. 
 
Juwai.com, an international property portal, was founded in 2011 as an advertising platform for leading brokerages, agents, agency networks and developers in the U.S. to present opportunity for Chinese buyers. 
 
While the global economy sputtered, the number of high net worth individuals in China roared upward by 41% in each of the last four years, and this number is expected to double again by 2015, Henry said, citing stats from Research and Markets. 
 
High net worth Chinese are already big property investors in Australia, the U.S., the U.K., Cyprus, France, Malaysia, Canada and many other countries. They hold 23% of their total assets in foreign real estate, a share forecasted to continue increasing.
 
Not only are they very present in the home buying market, but the Chinese are also buying more expensive homes than others. While foreign buyers spent a median of nearly $276,000 on U.S. homes, the Chinese spent a median price of $425,000, with 70% of deals made in cash, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). 
 
And because we are in the beginning of what Henry calls a “new and powerful market force,” now is the time to get in. Henry said the market will start to witness the emergence of the second wave of Chinese investment – from inbound investment to domestic investment – or Chinese buyers making further investments in domestic U.S. property.
 
“It might surprise most big agent networks and brands in the West that they are probably unknown in China,” he said. “Both small and large players in the U.S. real estate industry have to start from scratch in developing awareness, trust and preference with Chinese consumers.”
 
Henry said advertising online in China is the most cost-effective and accountable channel to establish your brand’s presence and values in a market as large – both in consumer audience and geographic span – as China.
 
“No one in the U.S. mortgage market has to worry that some other big player has already locked up this opportunity,” Henry said. “The experience of agents that we work with shows that you don’t have to be of Chinese origin or even speak Chinese yourself in order to be very successful working with Chinese buyers property in the U.S. The field is open.”

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