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OCBJ Buyers from China Snapping up Luxury Homes

OCBJ Buyers from China Snapping up Luxury Homes

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Published by: SherriLCruz on Feb 01, 2013
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Chinese Buyers Spur Luxury Home SalesREAL ESTATE: High-end college digs; cash buys; feng shui factor SHERRI CRUZSunday, June 19, 2011Driven by lower home prices, buyers from China are snapping up luxuryhomes in Orange County.Wealthy Chinese are saying “California is on sale right now,” said LiliKung Peters, president of Newport Beach-based McMonigle GroupInc.’s international division.Waterfront sections of Newport Beach and newer neighborhoods, suchas Shady Canyon in Irvine and Newport Coast, appear to be favorites for Chinese buyers.While specific data is hard to come by, many local agents said they’veseen an increase in sales to overseas Chinese.Jacqueline Thompson, an agent for Newport Beach-based SurterreProperties Inc., said she’s seen a 25% to 30% increase in such sales.Thompson recently sold a $6.2 million home on Linda Isle in NewportBeach to a Chinese businessman.Renee West represented the buyer, who came as a referral from a HongKong couple who bought a Bayside Drive home in Newport Beach.Chinese buyers usually have a good idea of what they’re looking for,according to West, an agent for Prudential California Realty in Coronadel Mar.“They know what they want—they know where they want to be,” shesaid.
Prefer Newer In general, they prefer waterfront homes and newer, upscaleneighborhoods.“They’re really particular about the home being fairly new and in fairlygood condition, almost move-in ready, with the exception of changingcarpet and painting,” West said.Chinese buyers typically shop for second or third homes here. Nationally, home sales to international buyers were up 19% to $82 billion for the 12 months through March, according to the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors.That figure includes sales to nonresidents and recent immigrants, andcompares to $1 trillion for the overall market for the same period.After Canadians, the largest international buyers in the U.S. are fromChina.Many newly wealthy Chinese are looking to invest some of their fortunes outside China.Some buy a home as a place to park their money. Others use them as a base for business travel. A number of Chinese buyers here have a dual purpose—an investment as well as housing for their college-agedchildren who might be attending the University of California, Irvine, or other schools here.Four states—California, Florida, Texas and Arizona—have the mostinternational buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Florida sees as many sales as the other three states put together, withEuropeans and South Americans doing most of the buying there.California attracts Asians.The rise in luxury home sales to Chinese here hasn’t been enough to hikethe market—a trend that’s been seen in places such as Vancouver,British Columbia.Swift price increases helped along by Chinese buyers in Vancouver have prompted calls by some Canadians to limit foreign investments over fears that locals will be priced out of the market.In OC, luxury home prices still are falling a bit.Chinese buyers almost always strike cash deals.A lack of credit history in the U.S. limits financing for some.And, like most homebuyers, Chinese buyers want a deal, accordingMcMonigle’s Peters, a native of Taiwan.“They’re not going to just pay the asking price,” he said. “They’re goingto want to negotiate to get the best deal out of any sale.”Depending on the buyer, feng shui can be a big factor. It’s a designtechnique rooted in Chinese culture and now used by many designersworldwide.Some Chinese buyers will have a feng shui expert screen a home first.Others do it themselves.Feng Shui Hurdles

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