Chinese house hunters tour U.S. in search of sweet deal
2009/02/11, 1:44 pm
Filed under: 1 | Tags: , , , ,

Updated 2/11/2009 2:39 AM ET
By Calum MacLeod, USA TODAY
BEIJING — A special Chinese tour group is heading to the United States later this month to go bargain hunting for houses at foreclosure prices.
More than 40 affluent house hunters from across China will begin a trip to Boston, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles on Feb. 24 in search of cheap homes to buy. Their goal: to find investment property and housing their children could use when they go to the USA to study or work. Their budget: $300,000 to $800,000 apiece.

“U.S. house prices are lower now, and we’ll also be looking at low-price houses auctioned off by the courts,” says Zhao Xinyu, a manager at, China’s leading real estate website and the trip’s organizer.

This is the first overseas buying trip for the real estate firm, whose name in Chinese means “search house” and which has organized house-hunting trips inside China. It may not be the last.

“We won’t force our clients to buy,” Zhao says of this first group of bargain hunters, who are paying $3,600 each for the trip. “But if it’s successful, we’ll organize several more trips this year.”

Hunting for businesses, employees, too

Cash-rich China, whose purchases of U.S. Treasury notes help prop up the federal government, is looking to recession-stricken America for more than just houses at the right price.

Chinese companies are on the ground looking for U.S. firms on the skids, says David Putnam, head of Asia for Houlihan Lokey, a Los Angeles-based investment bank that specializes in financial restructuring. They’re looking for people, too.

“We are aware of a number of Chinese strategic players who are interested in acquiring distressed U.S. assets in a number of industries,” says Putnam, who is based in Hong Kong. “They have people looking on their behalf, and they are sending people over to visit.”

In the last two months, headhunters have been scouring America’s decimated financial sector mostly for ethnic Chinese executives. Twenty banks from the Chinese financial capital of Shanghai toured in December in search of talent, the China Daily newspaper reported. Last month, the Chinese government dispatched recruiters to New York and Chicago for 1,700 people to help build the country’s nascent financial services industry.

But houses are assets that individual Chinese with money can try to cash in on.

“Once Chinese accumulate some capital, we want to find an outlet,” says Shen Yue, a Chinese film producer. “China is growing richer, but this is still a country run by the Communist Party, which inherently distrusts private property. The party’s power is more than the rule of law. That is scary, and we cannot be sure about changes in the future. The U.S. market and social system are more stable.”

Shen, who already owns four houses in Beijing and Shanghai and who hasn’t been to America, says he wants to take a future house-hunting trip to the United States and spend up to $500,000 for a house.

There appear to be plenty of others like him.’s trip to the USA originally was planned for January, but it was delayed because the number of applicants outnumbered the spots on the tour tenfold. The tour targeted Boston, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles for the potential buying spree because of their large ethnic Chinese communities and because they have a large number of universities.

Although individual Chinese have been buying property in the USA for several years, this is the first organized group trip, says professor Wang Hongxin, director of the Real Estate Research Institute of Beijing Normal University.

“This is a good experiment,” Wang says of the tour. “For despite the recent price falls, the market in the U.S. is more stable and civilized (than China). This is a high-income group who want a new investment, or a new lifestyle, and a house near a university for their children. In the future, there will be more Chinese heading to the USA to live and work.”

Buyers beware

Wang contends, however, that China’s housing market may be a better investment than America’s.

“The Chinese real estate market has the greatest potential worldwide,” he says. “Currently, it is not as hot as in previous years, but the rates of return will still be higher than other markets.”

He also warns, “Some of the group (of Chinese buyers) may underestimate the challenges of investing overseas, as they are unfamiliar with the U.S. culture and system.”

Dan Harris, a Seattle lawyer and co-writer of the popular China Law blog, echoes those concerns.

Many potential buyers, Harris says, “believe that by buying property in the U.S., it will increase their chances of getting a visa — but it won’t.”

Harris also worries Chinese buyers may end up with the wrong kind of bargain, such as a foreclosed crack-house. “It’s like an American going over to Shanghai to buy property, and we have had many horror stories there,” he says.

Shen, the film producer, sees only an upside.

“After the subprime crisis, U.S. houses are down by 20% or 30% — even more than the price falls in China,” he says. “I just need to find the right channel to invest.”

The way Shen sees it, the Chinese may be a big help to Americans saddled with mortgages they cannot pay. He says there are several hundred thousand Chinese like him who easily can pay up to $500,000 for a house.

“We are a huge market for the USA,” he says.

Find this article at:


13 Comments so far
Leave a comment

[…] Original post by Insurance Top News […]

Pingback by Chinese house hunters tour U.S. in search of sweet deal · Real-Estate-Investing.ExplainedOnline.Net

[…] Original post by Insurance Top News […]

Pingback by Chinese house hunters tour U.S. in search of sweet deal · Real-Estate.ExplainedOnline.Net

[…] the rest here:  Chinese house hunters tour U.S. in search of sweet deal Share with […]

Pingback by Chinese house hunters tour U.S. in search of sweet deal |

Cash In On The Latest Booming Business!

Loss mitigation consulting or more commonly know as foreclosure consulting.

Foreclosure consultants earn $500-$2,000 per case on average. And, loss mitigation training is fast and simple!

Anyone can be a foreclosure consultant and Foreclosure consultants are in hugh demand!

With all the homeowners across the country facing foreclosure, there are really not enough trained foreclosure consultants to handle the massive numbers of potential clients.

Get Foreclosure consulting training today!



Comment by Bakyasyloaf

Now is the best time to get into a lease option home

Even in the present economy buying or selling a home has become easier with the help of rent to own or lease option terms. Distressed homeowners are able to avoid having to make 2 monthly mortgage payments by selling their homes this way.

Lease option mansions are also available to buy on rent to own terms, the sky is the limit. [url=][img][/img][/url]

To get more information check out:

[url=]Rent To Own Homes In Atlanta[/url]

Comment by NigoToigh

Hello everyone, this is a great forum. I’m looking forward to meeting new people and exchanging new ideas.

Dallas Wedding DJ

Comment by eluttfubhew

Hello everyone, this is a great forum. I’m looking forward to meeting new people and exchanging new ideas.

Fort Worth Wedding DJ

Comment by eluttfubhew

Hi Everybody Kudos goes out to the mods and members on such a great forum!
Let’s Get’er done!

[url=]Lease Purchase Homes Atlanta[/url]
[url=]Lease Purchase Homes In Atlanta[/url]

Comment by GuilliapFaila

There are some big things going on right now. The commercial market bailout coming up.

Comment by mhanna43

HVtVba aeexnuvgwlqp, [url=]ghibijyytscp[/url], [link=]ongqmfgrkplm[/link],

Comment by vhqxvfjx

I am an agent live in Chicago and I am native from Beijing China. During my trip to China last September, I noted that there are lots of people would like to come to the US to invest. One reason is to find a place for their kids to come to a good school , either college or high school, since Chicago has the two best school in the US, it is quite attractive in this reason. Second reason is they want to diverse their investment. Affluent people still wants to have some assets in the overseas just in case if something going to happen in mainland China. I know good neighborhood to invest in Chicago.

Comment by Chicago Agent

[…] isn’t that kind of a good thing, in the long run? As one potential buyer, Shen Yue, sees it, both sides benefit from foreign buyers scooping up foreclosed houses in the US: The way Shen sees it, the Chinese may be a big help to Americans saddled with mortgages they […]

Pingback by “America For Sale” or Overemotional Xenophobia? « ChinaLuxCultureBiz

I’m new to this blog. Apologize for asking this though, but to OP…
Do you know if this can be true; ?
it came off
Thanks 🙂

Comment by tuchaCifuct

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: