Chinese investors are buying luxury homes in California with cash

New York

Mr. Chen has been living in South Pasadena, California for many years.  He always has been renting a 2 bedroom house. However, recently Mr. Chen was forced to move because his landlord sold the house for 525,000 dollars (short sale). Friends from China asked him why he moved – a question to which he responded: “All you mainlanders are too rich, buying houses with cash, causing me to move!”

Chinese investors, inundated with cash, have been taking advantage of the struggling US real estate market.  They have been buying a lot of foreclosures, short sales and other houses with hard cash.  Furthermore, Chinese buyers are looking for a good place to live.  Cities that have good schools are in high demand resulting in large Chinese communities in some of those cities.  Examples include:  Diamond Bar the Country communities, Walnut, Arcadia, San Marino, Irvine and other places. Some Chinese who are even more wealthy are looking to live in the white communities such as coastal Orange County, Newport Beach and Newport Coast.  

Real Estate agent Zhou Min says that she began showing houses to mainland Chinese people homes in the 1990s. At that time, an area in Roland Heights had many Chinese buyers from Dalian and Shenyang.  Taiwanese immigrant Ms. Li said that the gated community she lived in in Roland Heights was called “Ernai village” (“mistress village”) by the Mainland Chinese media, because many home owners are rich businessmen from China who decide to house their mistresses there.

However, the recent home buyers from China are all business tycoons - they all purchase houses that are more than 1 million USD and pay all cash. Preferred neighbourhoods are Arcadia, San Marino and Diamond Bar.

Real estate agent Li Caiyi said that the number of rich Chinese businessmen purchasing houses in Newport Beach and Newport Coast is increasing. As a result, even white real estate agents know the potential of these Chinese investors and they are taking initiatives in approaching them.

Mainland Chinese prefer to buy houses with cash and do not apply for a mortgage. They prefer single family homes with sales prices of 2 million dollars that have the potential to appreciate, or houses that are suitable for their children who are going to study in the USA. Chinese are not only buying in Southern California but also in Northern California.

Fengzhu Yue who has been living in Newport for many years said that while in the past the Taiwanese were the major buyers of houses, today most of the buyers are from Mainland China instead.



Source:, July 2013

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