Chinese Buyers Surpass Canadians in US Home Purchases

Huge news from the Bloomberg Business, as Prashant Gopal and John Gittelsohn announced that Chinese buyers now outrank Canadians in purchasing homes in the U.S. The article, entitled “Move over; Canadians – Chinese buyers now No. I buyers of U.S. homes,” says that “buyers from China spent US $28.6 billion on U.S. homes and made up 16 per cent of transactions by foreigners in the 12 months through March, according to an annual report released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors. Canadians, which had led international purchases since 2008, ranked second with US $11.2 billion in spending and a 14 per cent share of sales.”

The article likewise notes the movement of Chinese buyers into the U.S. in recent years, “amid growing affluence by residents of the world’s most populous nation, where the U.S. is viewed as a safe haven for wealth.” And not only is Seattle one of these “safe havens,” it has also become somewhat of a pop culture phenomenon in China, thanks to the wildly successful film, Finding Mr. Right.

As Dean Jones, President & CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) told The Globe and Mail  in early June, the film was “massive advertising, and there has been a lot of response.” He continued that “it’s not just the high-net-worth people looking for lifestyle or a financial safe harbor. It’s that people want to have their version of the American dream, if you will.”

The Globe and Mail also highlighted RSIR’s “Asia Desk,” which features a collective of agents “fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin and other Asian languages” who “cater to the continuing, broadening influx of buyers.” The team’s most recent endeavor was the release of a documentary entitled East Meets West, which helped explain the meteoric rise in foreign direct investment and immigration in the Puget Sound region.

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