Inexpensive real estate means China will own America….
Chinese bargain hunters are preparing to descend on American cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, where homeowners have suffered some of the steepest price falls in the US.
SouFun, the biggest real estate website in China, is organising a trip next month to look at properties in California and possibly Nevada. Liu Jian, the company’s chief operating officer, said about 300 people had expressed interest in the idea in the three days since it was advertised, though the company would take only a small group on the first trip.
“Given the problems in the Chinese market now, many people have been asking us about taking a look at overseas markets, especially the US,” he said.
By Geoff Dyer in Beijing
A man reads a brochure in front of an advertisement for real estate investments at a financial fair in Beijing .REUTERS/Reinhard Krause (CHINA)
The trip would focus on California, particularly San Francisco and Los Angeles, where big Chinese populations might make his clients more comfortable, but might also include Nevada.
Restrictions on taking money out of China would be an obstacle, he added, but some potential investors had an overseas connection such as a foreign passport that would make it easier.
Property professionals say there is considerable interest among wealthy Chinese, who often hold a high proportion of assets in property, in investing abroad.
“The US market absolutely terrifies me,” said one Shanghai-based real estate executive. “However, there are plenty of people here who think this a great time for bottom-fishing.”
There is opposition in China….