Seattle may be arriving later to the booming interest in real estate investments by Chinese buyers, but the city is certainly on track to start luring more and more homebuyers from the Vancouver area. With Chinese buyers growing interest in Vancouver real estate purchases over the past few years, Seattle is settling in to start luring these foreign buyers further south for higher-end investment properties.
Located just 229 kilometers south of Vancouver, Seattle is the next “nest” for the super-rich Chinese. With more than half of China’s millionaires immigrating or planning to immigrate in the near future, the burgeoning real estate purchases by Chinese buyers will continue to flourish. Chinese buyers account for the largest group of foreign buyers in the United States, with the U.S. being their destination of choice, followed closely by Canada.
Developers in Seattle are building homes that attract to Chinese buyers looking to move money, and potentially family, overseas. With more than thirty percent third of the Seattle area one-million plus priced homes now selling to Chinese investors, by broker estimates, builders are employing Mandarin speaking assistants and utilizing feng shui experts during the construction process. Many brokers are setting up second offices in China as well and employing cultural liaisons to smooth the selling process.
Homes are built by some developers to specifically attract Chinese buyers, with big, modern homes leading the market. The buyers often prefer two kitchens – not a common feature in traditional American homes – with one vented for cooking and one as a larger, display kitchen. As is often the case with any buyer, quite often, it simply comes down to curb appeal.
This growing trend of Chinese buyers investing in the foreign markets will continue to rise, especially in Seattle and the U.S. Home prices for these buyers are more than twice the U.S. national average and many pay in cash. Currently, West Bellevue and Medina tend to be the hottest Seattle neighborhoods, with some homes luring dozens of offers, well over asking price, from Chinese buyers.
The lure of Seattle lies in the renowned education system, environment, quality of life, and long-established population of Chinese immigrants. Political and social stability are also key factors in attracting Chinese buyers to the Seattle real estate market. Securing financial assets abroad is often advised to wealthy Chinese families for these very reasons.
The Vancouver housing market will somewhat feel the impact of this real estate competition just south of the border, and some analysts say this could result in a very slight cooling period for high-end housing prices in Metro Vancouver. However, the Vancouver area continues to appeal to many buyers and Vancouver will always be an attractive place to move for many homebuyers.