Chinese nationals are the biggest foreign buyers of American homes, purchasing homes valued at $93 billion in the past five years, including $28.6 billion in 2015 alone according a new report released today by Asia Society and the Rosen Consulting Group.
Chinese buyers spent at least $93 billion on residential real estate between 2010 and 2015. Spending rose at an annual rate of 20 percent and provided important demand in many local markets hit by the housing crisis. California accounted for 35 percent of Chinese home purchases in 2015, followed by Washington state with 8 percent of sales, and New York at 7 percent. These markets correlate well with the availability of direct flights from China and established Chinese and Chinese American populations.
A study by the National Association of Realtors last year found that home buyers from China comprised 16 percent of international buyers who purchased single-family homes and condos in the 12-month period ending in March, up from 12 percent in 2013. For several years, Canadians have been the biggest foreign buyers of U.S. homes. But Canadian sales have fallen, partially due to the weak Canadian currency, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Chinese buyers aren’t just buying more properties; they’re also spending more than other international buyers too. Chinese buyers purchased $28.6 billion of U.S. properties in the 12-month period ending in March compared to $11.2 billion of properties purchased by Canadians, NAR’s report shows.
The Asia Society study, based on information from public records, reports, industry date and interviews with industry sources, also found that Chinese buyers pay well above the average US home price. Last year, Chinese buyers paid on average about $832,000 per home in the United States, compared to the average for all foreign purchases of $499,600. That focus means they pay well above the average US home price: last year, Chinese buyers paid on average about $832,000 per home in the United States, compared to the average for all foreign purchases of $499,600.
Chinese buyers’ motivations include buying as they move to the United States on EB-5 investor visas as well as investing for rental and resale.
At nearly $208 billion, China is also the biggest foreign holder of mortgage-backed bonds securitized by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae.
“Policymakers, business leaders, and the general public in the United States still do not have a comprehensive understanding of the patterns and implications of Chinese investment in the United States,” Bruce Pickering, VP, Global Programs, Asia Society and Executive Director, Asia Society Northern California and Jonathan Karp, Executive Director, Asia Society Southern California write in the report’s introduction. “This report paints a clearer picture of what these investments mean for this country.”