RealtyTrac staff writer Octavio Nuiry recently interviewed Sheril Liu, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Premier Realty in Irvine, Calif., about her experience dealing with the growing trend of Chinese buyers purchasing homes at an average of $800,000 a pop in this Southern California city that is home to the University of California at Irvine, among other universities. The interview was for an article Nuiry wrote for the April edition of RealtyTrac’s Foreclosure News Report, but we captured this particular interview on video because Liu had some very interesting things to say.
She estimated that about 70 percent of the sales she closes for Chinese buyers are all-cash transactions, because it is difficult for these buyers to obtain a mortgage, and they have a lot of cash at their disposal thanks to successful businesses back in China that they have built. She noted that builders in Irvine are in some cases specifically constructing homes that cater to the Asian buyer, including an extra “wok” kitchen for stir fries.
She noted that many of the Chinese buyers are parents who don’t reside in America but who may send their children to school in America, where they can possibly stay in the homes purchased by the parents. Finally, she contended that one of the major reasons Chinese buyers are interested in U.S. real estate is that they can own it forever, as opposed to China, where all land is owned by the government and only can be leased for a temporary time period.