Chinese investors come to US for bargains

Feb.February 24, 2009 11:36 AM

During the booming economy in Ireland, Irish investors were rushing to New York City, entering contracts to purchase new residential condominiums. With the global recession and turbulent times in Ireland, many of these investors may not be able to close on their purchases, some in luxury condo developments where all of the units were sold exclusively to Irish investors, like the tower on Eighth Avenue between 48th and 49th streets, the residences at East 34th Street between Park and Madison avenues and a third building under construction on Lexington Avenue between 38th and 39th streets.
Looking to more aggressively capitalize on the financial downturn today are cash-rich Chinese investors.

Starting today, the Associated Press says, a number of such investors are traveling to the United States, hoping to purchase real estate at deep discounts. A group of 40 Chinese investors will be visiting New York City, Boston, California and Las Vegas for a 10-day home-buying trip sponsored by Beijing-based real estate Web site SouFun Holdings. These investors plan to view foreclosed properties ranging in price from $300,000 to $800,000.
Beijing lawyer Ying Guohua will be joining the tour and hopes to capture a residential property at a deep discount.

“It is a great time to buy because of the financial crisis, and houses in large cities like New York and Los Angeles will go up in a few years,” Guohua told the AP. The home is an investment, but he hopes that one day his five-year old son might use it when he goes to college in the United States.

With the New York City brokerage business under stress, a number of local brokerage firms have created Web sites, and organized tours for people from China to visit the five boroughs. For example, New York City-based Lions Property Development Group, a real estate investment advisory firm which identifies sound American residential investments, organizes Chinese group visits to condo units. The company’s Web site showcases three New York City condominium developments — the Clarett
Group-developed Sky House near Madison Square Park, the Albanese
Organization’s Visionaire in Battery Park City and the Clarett Group’s
Forté in the Fort Green section of Brooklyn.

During the trips, the company reportedly treats the visitors to Broadway shows and meals at well-known New York restaurants.
In these days when there is little activity by New Yorkers to purchase condos, developers hope that the Chinese will join the ranks of the Japanese, who in the early 1990s helped the economy by purchasing residential units.

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