Foreign investors of all stripes have been a major force in the U.S. housing market over the last year, but Chinese buyers, taking advantage of recession-priced real estate, better job opportunities and looking to get their children into prestigious American schools, are now the fastest growing demographic of foreign buyers. According to Businessweek, Chinese buyers, who often have no credit or access to financing, are paying all cash for homes that on average cost $400,000 — nearly twice the average cost of a U.S. home. Of the $82.5 billion invested into U.S. housing by non-U.S. buyers in the year period ending on March 2012, the Chinese accounted for 11 percent, most of which was concentrated in New York, Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California.
But despite the positive impact Chinese buyers are having on the U.S. housing market, they have not had a significant impact on home values in cities like New York.
“In a market the size of New York, it would take a substantial influx of any one buyer group to significantly affect market prices,” Corcoran Group CEO Pamela Liebman said. “The number of Chinese purchasers of New York real estate has not reached the critical mass it would require to impact prices.” [Businessweek] – Christopher Cameron