Ni Hao, Beijing! A Window to A World Of Opportunity
Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty’s “Asia Desk” has recently launched as a network of bilingual real estate brokers fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese or Korean who are experienced in working with the unique demands of overseas home buyers. Anticipating the addition of new brokers, the firm is expanding its Eastside flagship branch office in downtown Kirkland, which will soon feature an authentic Asian-themed tea room to host private meetings with international guests.
“Having witnessed the impact of Asian home buyers in my hometown of Vancouver in British Columbia, I understand the exponential growth prospects of this foreign buyer segment,” said Dean Jones, President & CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. “International is our middle name and so we’re playing a pivotal role in building out networks between the Pacific Northwest region and Asia. This is just the beginning.”
According to international homebuyer research provided by the National Association of Realtors, Canadians still buy more homes in the US but the Chinese spend more in aggregate. International sales in the US are expected to represent $92.2 billion in 2014 and Washington State is among the fastest growing markets for foreign buyers. Census data reveals Asians are the fastest growing demographic in Washington. In many Eastside communities, including the City of Bellevue, Asians now comprise 30-percent of the population spurring a rise in Mandarin-speaking businesses specializing in international relocation services. Recently The New York Times estimated that 40% of the Eastside homes valued above $1 million were sold to Chinese home buyers.
“For Chinese the real estate axiom is not Location-Location-Location,” adds Jones. “It’s Location-Education-Environment. We are finding favor given our close proximity to Asia, renowned schools and pristine natural environment. The American Dream is simply more attainable here versus the traditionally targeted markets like Vancouver, San Francisco or Los Angeles, which can cost a third more or even twice as much for a similar home. Besides, I think our propensity for capital appreciation is higher in the Seattle/Bellevue metro area, spurred in part by the foreign buying trends but also given favorable economic growth forecasts.”