Chinese find opportunity in U.S. real-estate slump

Amid a downturn in real-estate prices, some wealthy Chinese are signing up for home-buying tours to the U.S., and Chinese media tout the trend as another sign of the strength of what’s now the world’s third-largest economy behind the U.S. and Japan.

By Tim Johnson, McClatchy Newspapers

“The real estate prices in America have gone down drastically,” said Yin Guohua , a partner in a law firm who recently returned from an 11-day U.S. tour with a group of Chinese elite. “It’s a good option for Chinese people who want to buy for investment.”

In prime time earlier this week, China Central Television’s popular Oriental Horizon program dedicated half an hour to the topic of house-hunting tours to the U.S. The tours also have been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, some of them suggesting that the buying power of newly rich Chinese might help salvage U.S. real estate woes.

“We’ll probably take more than 10 groups this year,” said Vincent Mo , chairman of SouFun Holdings , one of two companies known to be organizing the house-buying trips. “There are more than 500 people applying to go with the SouFun team to look at property in the U.S.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy
/20090325/wl_mcclatchy/3197758

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