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Chinese investors are the biggest foreign buyers of US property


05-30-2016 06:18 BJT

Chinese investors have overtaken Canadians to become the biggest foreign buyers of U.S. property. According to a study from the Asia Society, a surge in Chinese buying in both U.S. residential and commercial real estate took their 5-year investment total to over $110 billion last year.

The One57 apartment building near Central Park is a new generation skyscraper dotting New York's skyline. Old and new developments like these that are attracting buyers from all over the world, including China.

For many years, Canadians were the top foreign buyers of homes in the U.S. But recently, Chinese buyers have surged passed them.

The National Association of Realtors says in the year ending March 2015, buyers from China snapped up $28.6 billion worth of properties in the U.S. Canadians spent $11.2 billion, And Indians spent $7.9 billion.

"Right now in China, the real estate market in China is bombed. Very bad. A lot of people are selling in China and buying in Manhattan or Long Island," Lin Pan, partner of Lin Pan International Realty, said.

The average Chinese buyer is spending almost double the average of all foreign buyers and more than triple the amount spent by Americans.

"For whole United States home buyer the average price is $255,000. The average price foreign buyers is $499,000. But for Chinese buyers, their number goes to $830,000-the average," Lin said.

The Chinese have also been pouring money into commercial real estate. According to Real Capital Analytics, in 2016 alone, Chinese firms have bought - or are buying - 47 U.S. properties worth $9.3 billion-the most of any foreign buyer.

As the Chinese economy continues to slow and the country facing a housing glut, Chinese buyers continue to stream into the U.S. Experts say they aren't just after trophy properties, but assets likely to generate the highest returns on investment.

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