Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Chinese Bargain Hunting in U.S.
Chinese people are signing up to come to the U.S. with the single aim to buy homes on the cheap. Tours are being organized by Soufun.com, one of China's largest real estate portals, for investors who want to take advantage of slumping U.S. real estate prices. But it's not cheap. Fees equal a one-year annual income for some, plus airfare, but the Chinese see this a long-term investment. Investors seek housing for young children who may wish to study in the U.S., to use while here on business trips, and/or to lease. Investors are also looking at commercial properties. Trips are being focused largely on east and west coast cities where there are large Chinese immigrant populations. Aside from bargain prices, Chinese investors are drawn to the U.S. due to limited investment options at home where real estate and stock prices peaked in Oct. '07. Economists estimate that tens of billions of dollars began leaving the country during 4Q 2008 as Chinese investors began bargain-hunting.