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Chinese Investment

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Palace Magazine Adds Seattle To List Of Top Markets Sought By Asian Buyers

As yet another acknowledgement that Seattle has joined the league of global cities attracting Asian investment, immigration and homeownership, Palace Magazine recently published a special report on American cities that included the Emerald City with significant contributions by Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (“RSIR”). The article also covered trends in typical markets including Boston, Las Vegas, Miami, New York and San Francisco.

“We are proud to represent our region within this elite publication and be included amongst our peer markets,” said Dean Jones, President and CEO of RSIR. “There is now little doubt that Seattle is on the map overseas and I believe this wave of foreign direct investment is just getting started.”

The article discusses how seven years after the recession the US housing market has rebounded and many cities (Seattle included) are setting new benchmarks for value. The investment prospect as well as the logic of diversifying a portfolio have created a gold rush of activity amongst Asian homebuyers. The article also outlines the popular EB-5 Investment Visa program created by the US Congress in 1990 to stimulate the US economy through job creation and capital investment by accredited foreign investors. According to the report, nearly 10,700 EB-5 visas were issued, with 85-percent of them going to wealth Chinese investors.

In addition to profiling the Seattle market, several RSIR listings were featured including a luxury condominium at Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue in downtown Seattle offered at $3,200,000 and Prima Vista, a waterfront estate located on the Juanita “Riviera” on Lake Washington offered at $6,288,000.

Download a .pdf of the Article >>

Read a Mandarin Translation of the Article >>

This latest coverage by Palace Magazine follows a flurry of recent attention, as RSIR has continually played a leading role in bridging homebuyers on both sides of the Pacific. Just last week, RSIR launched the all-Mandarin Seattle Luxury Living Magazine with Tiger Oak Publications and a WeChat App Platform to reach a Chinese audience of over 600 million.

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Chinese Buyers Surpass Canadians in US Home Purchases

Huge news from the Bloomberg Business, as Prashant Gopal and John Gittelsohn announced that Chinese buyers now outrank Canadians in purchasing homes in the U.S. The article, entitled “Move over; Canadians – Chinese buyers now No. I buyers of U.S. homes,” says that “buyers from China spent US $28.6 billion on U.S. homes and made up 16 per cent of transactions by foreigners in the 12 months through March, according to an annual report released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors. Canadians, which had led international purchases since 2008, ranked second with US $11.2 billion in spending and a 14 per cent share of sales.”

The article likewise notes the movement of Chinese buyers into the U.S. in recent years, “amid growing affluence by residents of the world’s most populous nation, where the U.S. is viewed as a safe haven for wealth.” And not only is Seattle one of these “safe havens,” it has also become somewhat of a pop culture phenomenon in China, thanks to the wildly successful film, Finding Mr. Right.

As Dean Jones, President & CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) told The Globe and Mail  in early June, the film was “massive advertising, and there has been a lot of response.” He continued that “it’s not just the high-net-worth people looking for lifestyle or a financial safe harbor. It’s that people want to have their version of the American dream, if you will.”

The Globe and Mail also highlighted RSIR’s “Asia Desk,” which features a collective of agents “fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin and other Asian languages” who “cater to the continuing, broadening influx of buyers.” The team’s most recent endeavor was the release of a documentary entitled East Meets West, which helped explain the meteoric rise in foreign direct investment and immigration in the Puget Sound region.

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SEATTLE MAGAZINE CONSULTS RSIR ON “HOW FOREIGN INVESTMENT IS CHANGING OUR NEIGHBORHOODS”

PICTURED ABOVE:   Cunningham used Dean Jones’s photo in the article, writing that “  Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty reports a significant increase in Lake Washington waterfront tours with Asian homebuyers. Here, a family from mainland China explores a Hunts Point listing offered at $8.75 million.”

PICTURED ABOVE: Cunningham used Dean Jones’s photo in the article, writing that “Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty reports a significant increase in Lake Washington waterfront tours with Asian homebuyers. Here, a family from mainland China explores a Hunts Point listing offered at $8.75 million.”

In a print article entitled “How Foreign Investment is Changing our Neighborhoods,” Seattle Magazine’s Jenny Cunningham prominently featured Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR), an expert on the latest in this massive trend. After “quizzing” her readers about the most expensive housing market in North America (Vancouver, British Columbia) Cunningham describes that “in recent years, mainland Chinese have been buying Coal Harbour condos and Shaughnessy megamansions, and the general consensus is that these rich immigrants are the main reason for Vancouver’s skyrocketing housing values.” She then asks, “could Seattle be next?”

Elucidating the tendency for Chinese investors to come to the Seattle area in search of homes, Cunningham says “statistics from the University of Washington confirm that trend” as “there are more students from China at the UW than ever before.” She even adds that “believe it or not, Seattle is trending as a sexy city among China’s college-age kids.”

Another point of influence in the article? The EB-5 Investment Program. When Canada ended their popular direct foreign investment program back in 2014, Dean Jones predicted in an interview with Jake Whittenberg from King 5 News, that many investors would likely “prefer the Seattle and Eastside areas,” supported by census data at the time which revealed that Asians were “the fastest growing demographic in Washington State, with many Eastside communities comprising between 25% to 50% of the population.” This trend has come into fruition with the recent rise of developments, highlighted when RSIR attended two high-profile ground breaking ceremonies: the Portola Tower by Dargey in Belltown and the Southport Hotel by SECO Development on Lake Washington in Renton. Cunningham likewise describes the significance of the EB-5 Program, as she writes that “Chinese investors are also building market-rate housing and creating jobs for locals under [it],” and citing Kevin Stamper who told her that “85 percent of applicants are from China.”

PICTURED ABOVE: Also used in the article, Cunningham writes, “Pacific Northwest real estate brochures, such as this one from Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, tout the rise of “gateway” cities like Seattle for mainland Chinese buyers.”

PICTURED ABOVE: Also used in the article, Cunningham writes, “Pacific Northwest real estate brochures, such as this one from Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, tout the rise of “gateway” cities like Seattle for mainland Chinese buyers.”

So, Cunningham finally asks, “Who’s betting on China?” RSIR is listed as one of three companies behind this trend, as the article reads: “‘China is a top focus for us right now,’ says Dean Jones, CEO of the Seattle-area offices of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. Jones has traveled to China several times recently to raise awareness of the value Seattle offers, compared to other West Coast cities. Realogics launched an ‘Asia Desk’ in its Kirkland office in January, complete with tearoom and staffed with Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean speakers who can help foreign clients with everything from travel arrangements to finding a school for their children. Jones predicts this is just the beginning of an influx of buyers from China. ‘What is really surprising is that China hadn’t discovered Seattle earlier.’”

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