Chinese Buyers, Zillow

According to a Washington Post article published on 7-15-2014, U.S. based real estate listing site Zillow will begin publishing its entire U.S. real estate property database on one of China's largest real estate websites. While this does indeed open some avenues don't hold your breath. Chinese buyers purchase property predominantly in large metro areas, and not our quaint neck of the woods. Even so, this is another step towards a more connected world. It will be interesting to see if this changes our markets, creates bubbles, or otherwise has an impact. From the article:

Some 9.3 million Chinese have immigrated in recent years, and 64 percent of the country’s remaining rich households — a category that includes a few million people — want to leave or are in the process of doing so.

The United States is their preferred destination, and American real estate is becoming their new T-bills, a safe-haven asset. Like bullion, it’s an asset class denominated in U.S. dollars, safe from confiscation and, when necessary, bought anonymously to hide wealth from governments or creditors or ex-partners. But unlike bullion, U.S. real estate can earn income, provide a roof and help obtain a visa.

A modern-day Chinese emigration wave is already underway, but a tsunami may soon hit America’s shores. This month, U.S. real estate Web site Zillow begins publishing its entire U.S. real estate property database in Mandarin on the biggest real estate Web site in China. This means Chinese buyers can surf the Net to find properties near family and friends in their price range. “The fact that Zillow is going there is huge,” says Hall Willkie, president of New York real estate firm Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales. “The Chinese may just overwhelm the United States with purchases.”

A buyout is already underway. In 2013, Chinese buyers snapped up $11 billion worth of properties in the United States, capturing second place (at 12 percent of all foreign buying) behind Canadians for the first time, according to the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of International Home Buying Activity. In the first quarter of 2014, Reuters reported that Chinese investors had even overtaken the first-place Russian expatriates in the purchase of Manhattan condos. Now with Zillow, they will have an even easier time prowling for properties anywhere in the United States.

Read the complete article here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/20...

Jared Hammond

Jared Hammond

Real Estate Associate & Property Manager
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