At this point in time, the Chinese economy is changing and the yuan’s recent fall in value has made buying homes in America more expensive for Chinese buyers. America’s economy is more robust, a huge improvement from just 10 years ago, and Chinese buyers are eager to invest in a more stable environment.
At the same time, Seattle home prices have skyrocketed over the past few years, and the housing market has become much more competitive. For Chinese buyers of U.S. real estate on a currency-adjusted basis, prices are up as much as 54%.
The trend I’m seeing is that buyers line up into two categories, big buyers and small buyers…
I’ve found that the big buyers ($2 million dollars or more) are quite bullish. They are following the Seattle real estate market closely and they are eager to buy. They know that if they don’t buy now, the prices will just become more expensive down the line. They are willing to take a risk and pay more money for what they want.
These buyers are also looking for more of an investment. Luxury homes aren’t their primary concern, they are looking for a more profitable enterprise.
The smaller buyers are more frightened of the changes that our countries have been experiencing. They tend to be more intent on playing it safe and they follow the real estate market with apprehension. Trade wars and Donald Trump politics are real concerns for these potential homebuyers.
The green card process was once easy through the EB-5 program, but now these citizens are having a harder time solidifying their permanent U.S. residence. I’ve heard from many people that their EB-5 companies are coming to a halt.
According to Juwai.com, Chinese investors drove roughly $100 billion in property purchases outside of China in 2016. That same year, Vancouver added a 25% tax on foreign buyers and the Chinese government implemented limits on how much money can leave the country. I was in Vancouver recently and while there is still a lot of cash in that real estate market, they are hesitant to invest in Vancouver or Canadian real estate. They are much more confident in the Seattle/American real estate market.
I was born and raised in Beijing and had the opportunity to work for a Fortune 500 company as a China representative. My background allows me to be well positioned to assist buyers both locally and internationally in sound financial investments in the Seattle real estate market. When investing overseas in the Seattle and Bellevue metro area, working with the right team makes all the difference in the world. Please contact me if you are interested in investing in our real estate market!