Chinese help carry U.S. real estate market

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.

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“There is an increasing number of wealthy Chinese who are buying in the U.S. to diversify their portfolio,” said Jed Smith, a National Association of Realtors economist. “Even with the rally in recent months, homes here still look very good from an investment point of view.” [Businessweek]Christopher Cameron