Chinese spent US$8.2b buying US properties last year

A recent study reveals that Chinese property buyers are still big fans of the United States

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 12:08pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 12:53pm

Chinese buyers continue to be some of the biggest purchasers of United States properties, and a recent study revealed they spent billions of dollars in 2012 on homes in a variety of areas, with California and Detroit as top favourites.

These figures were released in the National Association of Realtors (NAR) annual report, which analyses data on US homeowners. The 2013 report collected data from a total of 375 US real estate agents from April 2012 to March 2013.

The data revealed that out of a pool of buyers from 68 countries who bought US$68.2 billion (HK$529 billion) worth of property, Chinese investors were the second largest purchasing group. This group, which included buyers from the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, made property purchases that were about 12 per cent of the total amount analysed, or US$8.2 billion (HK$64 billion). This figure is actually a 10 per cent decrease from the amount Chinese buyers spent on US homes in 2011, the report said, attributing this shift to the global economic downturn.

Canadian investors are number one when it comes to purchasing US property, and their buying power represented 23 per cent of the US$68.2 billion. Buyers from Mexico, India and the United Kingdom were also highlighted for their purchasing power, although their contributions to the analysed data each made up less than 10 per cent.

News of the NAR report appeared on Caixin, a mainland website that features Chinese business news. Caixin’s report noted that many Chinese buyers in the NAR study had purchased US properties in California, although an increasing number had also bought houses in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit, once famous as the United States’ car capital, recently filed for bankruptcy protection, leading to a fall in local housing prices which may have attracted Chinese buyers, Caixin reported.