Mainland Chinese companies and individuals are ramping up purchases of property in California, accounting for an increasingly significant share of real estate deals in the state.
This according to the South China Morning Post in a story published last Monday, which reported that property agents in San Francisco and Los Angeles fly in groups of Chinese investors, sometimes as many as 50 people in one group, to buy property.
Robert Pearce, a director of Blackfish, a company that markets real estate here, told the Post that mainland Chinese who have ready cash re buying high end property.
According to Blackfish, Chinese buyers accounted for 18% of the $68.2 billion that foreigners spent on homes in the U.S. during the 12 months ending last March 1. The National Association of Realtors estimated that was up 11% from the same period a year earlier.
California is the second most attractive state for foreign buyers of U.S. property after Florida, said an Asia Society report. At present, more than half the homes sold to foreign buyers in California go to Chinese nationals, estimated CNN Money.
The Post article also reported that California, with its historical ties with Asia, has the biggest Chinese population in the U.S. and accounts for more investment deals from China than any other state. This puts it in a position to lead the country in attracting Chinese investment, according to Blackfish.
In the Post story, Andrew Gates, international realty associate broker at auction house Sotheby's, said that Chinese go to the U. S. for their children to be near schools and universities, clean air, and the American lifestyle.
In addition the number of documented Chinese investments in U.S. real estate has increased from virtually zero five years ago, said the Asia Society report.
Another trend is for Chinese property firms to acquire business properties in California. The Post reported that Shanghai-based Greenland Group acquired a site in Los Angeles in July with a planned total investment of$1 billion.
These Chinese groups see a flattening of their [domestic market and are looking to the U.S. and California for greater returns, the Post reported.