The USA Today has recently reported that buyers from mainland China and Hong Kong are snapping up luxury homes, often paying cash, in major U.S. cities such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. With U.S. single-family home prices a third lower since 2006, the U.S. also compares favorably with other top markets for Chinese investment, such as the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.

In the U.S., the Chinese are now the second-largest foreign buyers of homes, behind Canadians, accounting for $7.4 billion of sales in the 12 months ended March 2011, up 24% from the previous 12 months. Chinese families think investing in the U.S. is “probably more stable than in Beijing” due to concerns about China’s real estate bubble.

China has more money to invest than ever. According to the article, nearly half of China’s millionaires are considering moving or getting permission to reside overseas. And the USA is their top country of choice.

California dreaming’…

In SoCal city of San Marino (where the median price of a home is $1.6 million) Chinese buyers are looking for high-end homes in good school districts. One recent mainland Chinese buyer paid $5 million for a 5,000-square-foot home in Pasadena that the family expects to occupy for one month a year.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, mainland Chinese are looking for homes priced at $800,000 and up. A realtor has recently shown a six-bedroom $4.5 million to a chinese housewife married to a manufacturing executive who said “prices here are more reasonable than in China.

In New York City, mainland Chinese are increasingly paying cash for $20 million “trophy apartments,” said another real estate brokerage company.

Now, it’s the other way around…

“Five years ago, developers were coming to me about opportunities to invest in China, and now, they’re coming to me to try to get Chinese to invest” in the U.S., says Patrick Randolph, a co-director of the Real Estate Research Center at Peking University in Beijing. “The U.S. is always the Chinese people’s dream.”

Source: USA Today

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