Chinese heavily focused on US real estate. How big of an impact are Chinese investors having on US property values? China now has 1 million US dollar millionaire households.

There is a heavy demand from abroad for US real estate.  China as you know is now solidly the second largest economy in the world and with it is wielding heavy economic power.  Wealthy families are growing and with it, the ability to purchase investments and assets all around the world.  In California target locations like Los Angeles and San Francisco bring in dramatic levels of dollars from abroad.  The California housing market has been on a massive run-up in the last couple of years.  As we’ve discussed, a large part of this has been driven by domestic investors but how much of this is being driven from those abroad?  In particular how much money is flowing in from China into US real estate?  It is interesting to note that Chinese property investors are targeting select coastal regions whereas some domestic hedge funds have gone after properties in Arizona and Nevada.  It is hard to ignore the money flowing in from abroad.

Real estate investing from China

The property sector has seen a large amount of money come in from China:

china investors

It is clear where the money is flowing.  You also need to realize that this money is targeted to certain regions so the impact is magnified where the money is flowing.  California of course is a prime location:

“(Forbes) For instance, Chinese commercial real estate purchases in the U.S. totaled over $3 billion in 2012, much of it in California.  The state is expected to see record investments by the Chinese in 2013, the Asia Society said.  Two sizable deals took place this year already.

China Vanke and Tishman Speyer signed a deal for a $620 million luxury condo project in San Francisco this winter. In April, another deal for a cool $1.5 billion was inked in Oakland between Zarsion and Signature Development Group.”

These are massive deals in Northern California.  Even here in Southern California there are real estate agents that specifically cater to this market niche.  The California housing market has been driven largely by investors in the last couple of years.  Investors fall into a few categories:

-1.  Big banks/funds:  buying for rental or hold-and-flip

-2.  Flippers

-3.  Foreign buyers

When over 30 percent of the market in California is being driven by investor money you have to wonder how long this trend can go on.  California isn’t the only market being targeted here:

“(NPR) The GM building is considered one of the most valuable office towers in the U.S. In May, a large piece of it was purchased by a Chinese real estate developer.

That same developer, Xin Zhang, the chief executive officer of Soho China, already owns a significant stake in the Park Avenue Plaza, and other Chinese firms and investors are buying up notable properties across New York.

The buying, however, isn’t limited to just New York or Chinese investors. Investors from across Asia are buying up premier commercial real estate, says Christopher Ludeman, who heads up Global Capital Markets at CBRE Group, which handled the GM building sale.”

This is very similar to when Japan had its boom and ended up purchasing trophy properties in California and Hawaii however China is a much larger economy and as you know, has a dramatically bigger population.  China now has over 1 million US dollar millionaire households (only behind Japan and the US).

Why the flow of funds from China into US real estate?

What is interesting is that in relative terms, US real estate even in Los Angeles and New York is “cheap” compared to properties in some areas in Asia:

global-housing-bubble

It is a fascinating trend and US dollars are rushing back into our economy.  This is part of the global landscape.  Goods and services move back and forth seamlessly and so does cash.  Wealthy investors from China are definitely interested in US real estate and are diving into markets with large amounts of cash.  This combined with big Wall Street buyers has somewhat papered over the largely disappearing middle class in many of these areas.  In large part this is how real estate values have continually moved up while household incomes have gone stagnant.

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59 Responses to “Chinese heavily focused on US real estate. How big of an impact are Chinese investors having on US property values? China now has 1 million US dollar millionaire households.”

  • There’s a lot Chinese people out there in China, and a lot of them are getting rich. They all want to buy in the good pockets in CAli. I know a few Chinese whose parents in China bought the a house while they go to College here… It sucks to be in cali trying to save money and never be able to actually afford anything decent, because you’re competing with foreign money, rich folks.

    • I wonder what’s making so many Chinese people so rich. Are they just home equity bubble loan money like what the Americans had prior to 2006? I realize some of them are legitimately rich because of successful enterprises, however, I get the feeling that the large majority of them are funny bubble money.

      • I retired in China this year, and I can tell you that capitalism is alive and well here. I have three nieces here who have done well. Two are millionaires (in US dollars). One exports clothing to other countries. The second got rich in new home construction. She married a man who got rich selling building supplies. The third niece and her husband sell upscale childrens’ clothing online and manage two nightclubs. It is easier to start a business here and get rich than it is in America. Buying real estate in America is just a way of diversifying your investments.

      • “I realize some of them are legitimately rich because of successful enterprises, however, I get the feeling that the large majority of them are funny bubble money.”

        If that successful enterprise is being a high ranking party official who is gifted a factory by the state and slave labor employees you are right on. And since China’s economy is one giant bubble based on broke foreign consumers continuing to buy their products en mass, your second point is right on as well.

      • Well, In china you can get rich by (small start up money) and knowing someone in the government (a relative, close friend, or family) you can get permits to import/export stuff, you can set up shop, rather quick paying your dues to the right people on gov, and you can evade codes and laws…
        Try setting up shop here in Cali, see how it goes…

  • The Chinese are dumping their worthless U.S. Treasuries and buying hard assets like real estate and gold. U.S. politicians from both political parties have sold our country out and are destroying the middle class. It’s going to be very ugly for our country’s children and grandchildren.

    • I concur. Unless something drastic happens the former middle class Americans will be living off the garbage remains the rich this away. They will get the chicken we will get the feathers.

    • Agree, the Chinese are doing a slow rotation out of their US Treasuries- they have to continue buying and rolling over some just to make sure they get paid!
      They are hording gold and of course buying real estate and mines around the world.
      Makes no sense to work so hard and just end up with Treasury notes that the Fed can pay off just by making free digital entries

      • A rotation out of treasuries only forced the FEDs hand further in regards to bond purchases. Which causes further inflation for the American consumer. Said consumer then buys less Chinese exports. The burgeoning Chinese middle class won’t take a drastic reduction in their standard of living and the have the great mass of the Chinese proletariat on their side. Can you spell R E V O L U T I O N?

  • Home Prices are about to tank so hard it is not even funny!

    • Oh Jim I so hope you are right! !

      • Why, because you might have missed the boat. You could have sworn that homes in newport were gonna be 300 grand. So now you wish financial harm on people who, by the looks of things, might be more financially astute then you.

      • Hey Andy – let’s put this “missed boat” bullshit to rest, shall we?

        An important truism about boats is that they always come back to port, unless something really bad happens on the water. You either catch it at the next boarding or are thankful that you weren’t on it at a bad time.

    • In the six LA/Orange County cities that I watch like a hawk…regular old cities not luxury enclaves…inventory has been creeping up steadily for the last 3 months or more despite seasonal history saying that it should be going down. Prices have not sunken much, but I’m noticing better quality homes for the price, which is what happened last time before the crash. For sale signs and open house placards are more visible in my area of the south bay…it sure smells like we’re headed for at least a fair-sized dip in prices.

  • Main reason for investors to buy is because rents are much higher than bubble years….much more people who want to rent. Plus, EB-5 visa program which immigrant can get green card and eventual citizenship in the US if buying a home in the US for >= $500k.

    • EB-5 Cards are “front of the line passes” for when the Chinese Gov’t finally seizes all their assets. So why not have an asset that is untouchable? Or, if your prego-wife stays at a US birthing center, you now guarantee that your “American Citizen” child will sponsor your entire family when they turn 21.

      Just look at Irvine, CA. It has THE BEST K-12 schools & university, and “Feung Shui” new construction homes as well as the new hospital. Plus, it offers enormous “business” opportunities. “There’s no place like home… There’s no place like home….”

      • apolitical scientist

        I enjoy some good recreational xenophobia as much as the next housing bear, and I guess I could manage to resent being outbid by the endless flows of “hot money” of which the good doctor frequently speaks. I don’t see, though, why having some of the most industrious Chinese emigrate here would be such a bad thing. 35 or so years on I think the influx of boat people to the Westminster area and the growth of a vibrant Vietnamese-American community has been the best thing to happen to Orange County since the navel.

      • son of a landlord

        apolitical scientist, you call these people “the most industrious Chinese”

        Industrious? NOT!

        My parents were refugees from European Communism, I traveled behind the Iron Curtain while it was still up, and I’ve kept up my study of Communist and post-Communist history.

        I’d say most current millionaires and billionaires in formerly Communist countries (which China is too, all but officially) are former or current members of the military, secret police, or Communist parties, who’ve used their political connections to transfer the “people’s wealth” into their own personal bank accounts.

        Some of these formerly Communist billionaires make Wall Street criminals look like amateurs.

        I did some googling and found:

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-26/china-s-billionaire-lawmakers-make-u-s-peers-look-like-paupers.html

        Here’s a Financial Times story, but you can only read the headline unless you are registered: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/4568598e-8731-11e2-9dd7-00144feabdc0,Authorised=false.html?_i_location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ft.com%2Fcms%2Fs%2F0%2F4568598e-8731-11e2-9dd7-00144feabdc0.html%3Fsiteedition%3Dintl&siteedition=intl&_i_referer=#axzz2jSmgvSwx

        Also: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/10/03/bill-o03.html

      • Why are you talking about the Chinese government seizing assets? The US gov’t is much more likely to do so. The debt is so out of control, desperate times are coming to a government trying to hang onto power.

      • PLUS 1 for you Son of Landlord! Commie synchophants are NOT entrepenuers

        And Roddy these new, rich, Chinese immigrants may find holding on to those properties in the face of a US govt looking to blam eothers for our problems.

        See Japanese Americans during WW2 for the tenuous nature of property rights…

      • Son of Lanlord, I also grew up in an eastern european country under communism. I am very familiar with what happened before and after the fall of communism. It was like China today. I agree with everything you say.

        These crooks make the the wall street bunch candidates for sainthood. Given the California corrupt politics, all these Chinese will feel like home.

      • @ Landlord.

        From a person who calls himself the son of a landlord, what do you know about industriousness?

        I am a Chinese American who came to the US in 1979. I went to public schools from 5th to 12th grade. Studied hard as well as competed hard in high school sportsl. Earned my place at UCLA. There, I earned my undergraduate degree with honors and then my law degree.

        I then worked my ass off as an attorney in the public (not private) sector and earned and saved and invested my money. I am now at a position where, if I chose, I can put forth cash offers (but I’m not b/c it’s silly) and outbid any Chinese Nationals.

        Here’s a kicker for ya. Because I’m a licensed attorney in CA, I can easily and will get a brokers license. My plan is to do what some of you all hate. I’m going to buy as many properties as it is wise and I’m going to flip them like no one has ever before.

        One exception, I might live in one; one in which I outbiidded a xenophophic ***** and enojoy every dive in the pool, ever peak at the view overlooking the entire San Gabriel Valley, and every morning dropoff of my mixed and beutifual daughters to the local unparalled school.

        Get my point? If not, then you just might be to fixed in your ideas for there to be any hope.

  • Based on what evidence, Jim?

  • Fascinating trend, indeed. As the importance of the US dollar in trade declines, the paper coupons will return to the place that issued it. Fascinating, but not surprising.

  • 67% Mortgage Buyer profile at this stage of the cycle is a very soft number considering that rates have been under 4.5% really for the last few years.

    How long can the 30% cash buyer metric last???
    Then all this housing inflation that just happened will be left for mortgage buyers who have hight DTI and LTI metrics and light liquid assets.

    Here is an example

    My purchase clients for 2013 so far that have bought a home (not a pre q) have had a total household income range of 108,000 – 198,000 and the number of them that had 20% down = 0

    The market is leaving FHA to go to 95%-85% conventional loans, because the MI is better but still 20% down isn’t there.

    This is why the NAR affordability index needs a serious * to it because they base their assumptions on a 20% down 740 Fico Perfect teeth and children borrower at a 25 DTI base. Hmmmm

    Again a reason why Mortgage Purchase applications have gone negative year over year

    http://loganmohtashami.com/2013/10/24/mortgage-purchase-applications-falling-slope/

    • Just wanted to compliment you on a great comment. I particularly enjoyed the NAR description of the mortgage applicants including ” perfect teeth” lol awesome.

    • “My purchase clients for 2013 so far that have bought a home (not a pre q) have had a total household income range of 108,000 – 198,000 and the number of them that had 20% down = 0″

      Logan, you are a bit behind the times. Your buyers don’t need to have 20% to put down:

      “Conventional lenders are bringing back mortgage loans with lower down payment requirements .”

      “Most conventional loans require a down payment of 5 percent, but some programs allow a down payment as low as 3 percent,” says Doug Benner, a loan officer with Embrace Home Loans in Rockville. “A few banks and credit unions have special 100 percent financing products, too, that they keep as portfolio loans.”

      http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-08-15/news/41412201_1_mortgage-insurance-pmi-10-percent

  • “Chinese commercial real estate purchases in the U.S. totaled over $3 billion in 2012″

    That’s a pittance. I think i just saw that Americans spent $2.0 billion on Halloween candy. So, let me play contrarian here.

    I remember back when we panicked because the Japanese were buying up American landmark buildings. We snookered them out of their money back then, and we’ll snooker the Chinese out of their money now. You simply cannot overestimate American ingenuity when it comes to real estate chicanery. It can’t be taught in a Shanghai public school. Post-Communist authoritarians and kleptocrats in China are punching way above their weight class on this one.

    I say let all those Chinese millionaires move here if they want. America can convert most well-to-do immigrants into aimless mall shoppers within one generation. It might take us two generations to do the same with new Chinese immigrants. Regardless, their kids or grand kids will squander most of the family fortunes right back into the American economy.

    • Prediction Reality Check

      Chris D says – “You simply cannot overestimate American ingenuity when it comes to real estate chicanery.”

      Boy, you couldn’t be more right about that. It is one ugly industry. I am SURE that most people don’t know the half of how they get taken for a ride. But, the writing is one the wall, because transaction costs are too high and dishonesty is rampant. People will eventually wake up.

      Take a look at the stock/bond brokerage business for a window into the future of residential real estate transactions. 20 years ago, and prior, if you bought or sold, say, $15,000 worth of GE stock, you paid a percentage of the trade in commission. Yea, like $300 – $350! Now, you pay $8 or $10 per trade, no matter the value and you can place the trade yourself….unheard of back then.

      It’ll happen on the buy side first. I refuse to use a buyers agent as I find them to be basically worthless. I can source properties, research them, get comps, ETC. myself. Not hard to do. They don’t deserve 3% if I do all the legwork.

    • The Japanese have a reputation as being much more astute than the Chinese in business deals. However, the Chinese may wish to look at what happened to the Japanese after they bought out the US. http://articles.latimes.com/1993-07-05/news/mn-10252_1_pebble-beach-golf

      Little light reading for our Chinese friends: http://prudentinvestornewsletters.blogspot.mx/2013/10/china-bubble-indicator-chinese-buying.html

      Another thing to keep in mind is that it is one thing to have a US green card or even passport but it is quite another to get out of China. Especially when the sheet is hitting the fan. Unlike the US, almost all other countries require immigration exit checks to get out of the country.

    • Doc lost me a little on this one too. “Chinese commercial real estate purchases in the U.S. totaled over $3 billion in 2012, much of it in California.” First off, its talking commercial real estate, which would not only include apt buildings, but office towers. Then you also need to discount the amounts not in Cali as even the quote says “much of it in California.” So this $3 billion includes office towers in NYC as well and other cities throughout the US. Then even though the Chinese may own an apt building, its not always geared for rentals as they then may sell apartments within that building to others, including non-Chinese natives. This stat does also importantly not include the amount spent in Cali by Chinese in RESIDENTIAL real estate-single family homes and townhouses.

      Even discounting everything written above, if you use the whole $3 billion and say each apt averages $500k, that’s a whopping 6,000 apts/homes total. Basically a fart in the wind.

      For those looking to buy single family homes and not apts, I would start with this stat:

      “Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 522,510 units, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR associations and MLSs statewide.”

      Even if you say the average cali single family home was $300,000 * 522,510 units, thats over $156 billion in just single family homes. That means the Chinese would have to spend over $45 billion in Cali just to be 3% of the market.

      Not saying the Chinese aren’t influencing select areas in the market, but its really currently about tight supply (we all know the many reasons already) and increased artificial demand (once again we know bc of QE causing low interest rates, which does move people off the fence, rightly or wrongly, as well as forces investors into risk assets like real estate and stocks).

    • It’s not a pittance when most of the money that Chinese spend on real estate is concentrated in a few markets. Among the United States, California is the most popular state for Chinese to invest in real estate. More than half the homes sold to foreign buyers in California go to Chinese nationals, estimates CNN Money. In San Francisco proper, Chinese investor property hunting climbed 84%, month-over-month from July to August 2013– it was also 456% higher than it was this January. Because San Francisco is a relatively expensive local market, Chinese investors active there tend to be wealthier, snapping up property in the $700,000 to $1.2 million range, in the $1.5 to $3 million range, or in the $5 million and above range.

      http://blog.sfgate.com/ontheblock/2013/10/29/chinese-investor-activity-in-san-francisco-real-estate-reaching-fever-pitch/#17353101=0

      • Sonar-The first chart is misleading. It has nothing to do with real estate purchases from what I can tell. Its a chart discussing which minority is most popular in SF. Its genenrational and can mean renters too. Not a shocker that the city with the biggest Chinatown in the US for forever has Chinese as its number one minority.

        It then goes on to say the Chinese spent 9.8 billion total on real estate in 2012, which would include commerical and residential, Cali (not just SF) and every state outside Cali (NY is taking a nice chunk as well).

        It then says Chinese are second behind Canadians when buying property in the US….yet I haven’t seen many articles or complaints that the Canadians are distorting the real estate markets.

        So, after all the fancy stats listed, including a bunch of useless ones about comparisons vs other minorities, really what we’re left with is Chinese people want to feel some comfort by moving to cities where they already have numbers (aka SF and a few southern Cali cities)….just like every other minority did throughout history and does today.

        So far, all the stats presented have made me feel Chinese were LESS of an influence on the real estate market than I actually thought over the past few years.

  • Lets all blame the Chinese. In reality, this is a distortion. More millionaires were created right here in the good ol’ US of A. Don’t get distracted by what the Fed is doing w/ rates and QEx as well as EU and their own QE.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101099732

    • China is likely to overtake US as richest country as number of dollar millionaires hits 1 million. China is at No 2 with 6.7 per cent rise in personal wealth and 4 per cent of global millionaires.

      http://www.scmp.com/business/economy/article/1328125/china-likely-overtake-us-richest-country-number-dollar-millionaires

      China, like the United States, has an income inequality problem: the country’s GINI coefficient, a measure which tracks economic equality, was 0.474 in 2012, making it more unequal than countries like Peru and the Philippines. According to a survey by researchers at China’s Southwestern University of Finance, the top 1% of Chinese families own some $1.6 million in assets, compared to an average of $368,000 per Chinese family.

      http://www.theatlantic.com/china/archive/2013/09/mapping-chinas-income-inequality/279637/

      • Likely to overtake. It hasn’t happened. You’re telling it how it might be, i’m telling it how it is. More millionaires were created here. Not all millionaires in China want to buy in the US. Millionaires created here are buying the US. Silicon Valley resurgence, right or wrong, is the reason. Netflix, Facebook, Appl, even Yahoo. Soon to be Twitter. Yelp, etcc..etc..

      • Is there a government agency that keeps track of Chinese nationals who pay cash for residential properties? Unless such statistics are kept, who could anyone know whether Chinese nationals had more or less of an influence on the real estate market in California?

  • Nice try Chris. The difference is the work ethic and emphasis on education being indoctrinated into the generations of Chinese. This is the end of California for the majority of the middle class. For instance, a lot of the original Irvine families are seeing this and moving out. Irvine now has Diamond Jamboree, which is the beginning of Chinatown for a soon-to-be Downtown Los Angeles, Part Deux.

    • What? Diamond Jamboree is just a strip mall. With Asian food. Not even particularly Chinese food. There must be hundreds of those in OC.
      I only come here occasionally these days. Too many bigots on here. I guess I get it now when these clowns talk about ‘pure’ capitalism. You know you have to work hard in life right? And smarter? You wanted capitalism to be a blood sport where if you work hard you’ll be rewarded, and you got it. This is just the market talking, baby.

      • You made my point for me tapis. The work ethic that I mentioned is why so many lazy Americans will pick up and go elsewhere. They can’t/won’t compete. You hear it all of the time at parties and kids soccer games. The ‘Asian kids’ work harder.

      • LOL, you must be kidding Binsh. Did it ever occur to you that the Americans ARE smarter? They figured out how to live somewhere cheap and easy and let the Asians do all the work. Brilliant!

        When we all end up at the Pearly Gates, and look down upon how much energy we all expended, go ahead and let it be the slaves, I mean Asians.

        Less energy out + more Bud Light in = easy street

  • US Real Estate is one of the best ways to launder illicit money. There is no need to report to the government cash exhanges of $10k or greater. Money gotten in Chinese criminal enterprise whether in the US or China can be washed in US RE. That is why Chinese do not seem concerned about overpaying, which they oftentimes do. It is the money laundering angle that they like. In a few years they can sell and get their cash out all washed with a legitimate source, possibly tax free.

    • unclevito, where did you hear that there is no need to report to the U.S. government “cash exchanges of $10,000 or greater”?

      You have it backwards. You MUST report cash exchanges of $10,000 or more, and cash transfers over $3,000, which is why money launderers try to “structure” exchanges and transfers in small amounts under reporting thresholds in order to “wash” it.

      It is not as easy to wash money as once it was, especially money crossing borders. As one who has worked among native Chinese people for many years, I can attest that most of their money was not ill-gotten. These are the most frugal people you will ever meet, the kind of people who can have $10M in money instruments plus that amount in illiquid stuff like real estate, and think you are extravagant if you spend $80 on a pair of shoes. Yes, yes, they not only frequently pay cash for their houses, but most build their businesses from tiny take out restaurants to large business concerns without ever taking a loan. They will save every dollar they can and wait until they have the cash. Old-school Chinese are very nervous about credit. I know, because I’ve met many of these people and watched them in action. I must admit I admire them greatly.

      • son of a landlord

        I’d previously discussed China’s millionaires and billionaires. But regarding their non-millionaire immigrants…

        Laura: “most of their money was not ill-gotten. These are the most frugal people you will ever meet,”

        Frugal, yes. Very true. But also likely to cheat on their taxes.

        I’ve a friend in New York City who teaches adult education at a Chinese school, with many Chinese immigrant students. He’s even dated several of his students, one of them longterm. He knows Chinese immigrant culture very well.

        He says the Chinese tend to keep everything in cash — off the books — to avoid paying taxes. He dated one woman who kept tens of thousands of dollars in a strong box, all unreported to U.S. taxing authorities.

        Chinese immigrants can often do this because they tend to work in cash heavy businesses, such as food services.

  • whether your a citizen or foreigner all this money from whatever country is great for local,state and federal taxes. that’s the bottom line.and besides the rate exchange is great for these countries at this posting i believe one euro will get .67 cents 30% more to spend in this country, not bad.

  • 1 – Export dollars in exchange for cheap Chinese labor.
    2 – Import dollars back in exchange for supply-restricted U.S. assets.
    3 – Flood given asset market with inventory thereby forcing a price level reset.
    4 – Chinese take haircuts on asset prices.
    5 – Shrug shoulders and point to laissez-faire.

    • Plus 1 Joe! One of may astute observations in this thread. This is the culmination of over 40 years of planning by TPTB. Nixon went to China because we were far more worried about war with them than the Soviet bloc. By opening them to trade and over the ensuing decades making their system hopelessly dependent upon commerce with the west, while said commerce created a middle class where non existed, we have made direct armed conflict with China an extreme unlikelihood.

      The Chinese elite are going to be stuck with depreciating assets as well as treasuries at lower than market interest rates when they inevitably rise. The American corporate and financial oligarchy will be laughing at winning a multi-decade game of chess against the people of Sun-Tzu.

  • “Son of a Landlord” believes in the Monobloc theory of communism. He believes that any form of government that has be labeled Communist is the same anywhere in the world. He claims to have traveled behind the Iron curtain, but I don’t believe he has been anywhere near China. He says he has “kept up his studies of Communism”, whatever that means. I see that it has been from the other side of the planet, and therefore theoretical and third hand. Where does he get his information on the Chinese economy, from Falun Gong and Fundamental Christians with some crazed world view? He should get a passport and travel, but that might shatter his artificial world.

    • Leave it Roddy66676 to defend Communism. No doubt Roddy66676 is a Communist party hack who believes in a corrupt economic system where authoritarian/totalitarian dictators and Communist party members confiscate all the wealth of a country and live like royalty at the expense of the masses. Roddy66676 needs to stay in Communist hell holes where evil dictators quash any and all opposition by brutal force.

    • Roddy, I replied above to Son of Landlord. When one totalitarian party/group of people (you may call them communist, fascists, your call…) have a monopoly on power, they will abuse that position of privilege to privatize in their pocket what belongs to the state, use their position and connections in the army, security forces, politurbo (or equivalent) to get contracts with fabulous profits. Day by day, US is getting more and more like that, where you have a bunch of oligarchs who want to have absolute power and control like in Russia.
      The real rich in China act the same way. Yes, there are some who have legitimate business and have money, but you can’t be really rich in a totalitarian regime without being connected – take this from people who lived under totalitarian regime and didn’t just travel as an american tourist or businessman. We are people who lived on both sides of the fence and have a complete perspective.

  • Let me offer a contrarian view. I get a laugh out of the “oh the Chinese are so wise and astute arguments”. You really can not quantify such statements. But let’s examine the present moment to decide who is astute and who is the mark. Yes it is true that our country is indebted up to our eyeballs (now approaching 17 trillion dollars and that is not even counting the unfunded future liabilities of Social Security, Medicare, etc.). But in the end, what will our creditors do about it? The creditor and borrower relationship is just like any other. Those debts will be written down. In the end the Chinese, Dutch, British, Japanese, etc. are going to be forced to write down the debt. So, who really is the astute one? Who is the mark?

  • I want to see actual hard figures about this. Actual data. Not some real estate industry propaganda. Do you remember that back during the Housing Bubble days the common question asked was where do these young people get the money? The most plausible (but not data backed) explanation was “oh they are getting it from their wealthy baby boomer parents. The baby boomer generation is the wealthiest generation in history……”. Yet a quick check http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/resource_center/expert_insight/retirement_strategies/planning/baby_boomer_reality_check.html showed that was baloney.

    The number of millionaires in China is 1.1 million millionaires. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/09/15/countries-most-billionaires/2811571/

  • I work in a technical scientific field, so I have worked with many Chinese over the years; some born here, some from over there, and they are as varied as any group of people I have met. Some had no sense of humor, some were a laugh a minute. I am sure that a cross section of Chinese immigrant and non-immigrant buyers will include all of the above mentioned types in the pro and con letters. One that didn’t get mentioned that I have met were Kuo Min Tang princes and princesses. There are two governments over there, after all.

    I posted on real estate blogs a few years ago about my Brother-In Law’s problem with Chinese cash buyers outbidding him for homes in West Covina right after the bubble broke. He had a lump sum distribution and was also buying for cash, but didn’t have really deep pockets. He finally bought a place from an old lady who took a liking to him and his wife. He’s north of the 10, and I think most of the Chinese were buying south of the 10 over towards Walnut. He’s happy with his house and neighborhood.

  • We dont need this… American home ownership is dropping, poverty is growing, rents are rising – last thing in the world we need is more immigrants. We should put a moratorium on foreign $$ and citizens buying us property

    Talking to a Chinese couple here in wine country, i mentioned that ive seen many Chinese moving to California the past few years, they said “believe us, you dont want them here” couldnt believe it!!

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