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LinkAsia | Apr 10
China is worried about a real estate bubble. Housing prices have been rising by double digits in almost every Chinese city, and in Beijing alone ha...
Hi, welcome to LinkAsia. I'm Yul Kwon. Our top story this week is about the housing market in the United States. What does this have to do with Asia? Well, it turns out that the Chinese are the largest foreign buyers of US homes, right after Canadians. Many of these Chinese buyers are offering cold, hard cash to buy million dollar homes. And according to Chinese broadcaster CCTV, this buying spree is buoying up home sales in the US.
Lily Yu, Real Estate Agent:
One buyer told me, 'I don't want a very expensive house, just $2.5 million dollars.'
Southern California real estate agent, Lily Yu, is headed east, because there's a modern-day gold rush out west.
Shanghai, Beijing and Taipei.
The prospectors: international bargain hunters. The settlers: mainly Asian families. The conquest: bargain-priced real estate. The currency: cold, hard cash.
We do see a lot of homes selling just like that, very, very quickly.
But for cash, for over a million dollars?
Oh yeah, yeah, definitely.
David Michonski, Author:
What you're seeing in Orange County is part of a long-term trend that is going on all around the world. The Chinese are buying in major metropolitan areas.
In London, New York and Vancouver. But activity in OC is "OOC", Out Of Control. Home sales in December 2011 doubled the number sold in January 2008. The county is attracting this rapidly growing population, partly by tapping into their sense of community, understanding their unique tastes.
Sylvia Yu, Homebuyer:
Our high school, University High, is ranked number eight. That's why we decide to move to here.
Sylvia Yu's primary motivation for paying 900,000 dollars cash: her son's secondary education. This wealthy enclave provides plenty of that--prestigious addresses, pricey toys, home values to match.
Real Estate Agent:
About 13,000 square feet. On a three-quarter acre lot.
It's not just the little luxuries or status symbols that are important. Many builders here are now constructing homes with the Asian buying market in mind. For instance, you'll often find this feature: a full wok kitchen, with a wok, a burner, and high-powered ventilation system. And many of these homes are often outfitted with additional master suites as well as a separate in-law unit, as many Asian homes are often multi-generational.
Real Estate Agent:
And this plain kitchen, and the chef kitchen.
That's opened the door to their enormous buying power. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports Chinese property purchases nearly doubled in the US in 2011.
Though many major metropolitan areas are benefiting from this buyers' market, Orange County's courtship with the Asian community certainly helps them capitalize on it.