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US US top place for Chinese buyers

Property Here - Monday, December 16, 2013

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The United States will be the top destination for Chinese property buyers and investors during 2013, and they are increasingly looking at new locations.

New York is by far the most popular destination, according to research by China-based overseas property portal Juwai.com. Los Angeles and Philadelphia come next followed by Detroit, Houston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Atlanta, San Diego and Memphis.

The fastest growing United States cities are Honolulu, Detroit, Charlotte, Chicago and Austin. Many destinations have strong Chinese communities and others are being selected because of their excellent education options.

Cash-rich, wealthy buyers want a safe haven for their money, says Pam Liebman, CEO with broker, the Corcoran Group. These include cities like Detroit and Memphis where they can obtain foreclosures or discounted property that can be managed by local companies.

Wei Min Tan, a broker with Rutenberg Realty in Manhattan, says others are looking for buy-to-let purchases or short-term use.

The United States is the favourite of Chinese buyers among 53 countries listed by Juwai. New Zealand is the fastest growing country, followed by Italy, Thailand, France and Portugal.

Andrew Taylor, co-CEO of Juwai.com, said: “The country where the property is located can be less important. What’s happening is that more high-net-worth buyers are beginning to search by property price and lifestyle.”

However, up half of all overseas property buyers start looking without a particular country in mind.

For example, a client might want a house on the coast, within an hour of an international airport and in the US$5 million to US$10 million range. It could be in Australia, California or the south of France.

“The traditional gateway cities for Chinese investors no longer have the highest rates of growth in Chinese buyer interest. They are still the top destinations, but other and newer destinations are growing more quickly,” said Taylor.