AOL Real Estate is reporting an influx in foreign homebuyers with staggering figures. Between March 2012 and March 2013, foreign buyers spent over $68 billion in real estate! Interestingly, Chinese buyers are taking the lead in purchases, contributing 18% of that $68B. The article reports that Chinese buyers spend more on real estate than any other foreign demographic and nearly 70% of their purchases are made in cash. California is their location of choice for home purchases; last year, more than half of the homes sold in California went to Chinese buyers!
Interestingly, these Chinese buyers do not spend their time in the homes they buy. Most buyers are wealthy industrialists and real estate tycoons who spend less than half the year in the U.S. Motivations for purchases include California's abundance of prestigious school systems, with many purchasing homes for children receiving an education in the state.
Riskin Associates affiliate Christie's International Real Estate recently held a conference in San Francisco which focused on this emerging market, providing further insight into the motivations of Chinese buyers. With interests in winemaking and vineyard ownership as well as premier golf facilities, Chinese buyers are flocking to California to explore all that the diverse state has to offer.
California's luxurious neighboring communities, Montecito and Santa Barbara, are home to several prestigious educational institutions, multiple premier golf courses, and just a short drive up the coast, the Santa Ynez Valley is emerging as a first-class region for vineyards and winemaking.
As the economy continues to strengthen and foreign buyers contributing substantially to it's growth, the residential real estate market continues to experience a surge as well.