Earlier this week, Seattle Times connected with a delegation of 15 real estate agents from mainland China to discuss why so many Chinese foreign nationals are purchasing homes in the Seattle area, and whether they expect the trend to continue. As the Times reports, some of the main factors drawing Chinese buyers to the Emerald City include “good schools, clean air, proximity to China, beautiful natural resources with lakes and mountains and the growing economy.” These are many of the same factors that brought buyers to Vancouver in years past, and it’s no surprise that Seattle has cemented itself as a favorite destination given its relative affordability when compared to other West Coast peer markets.
When questioned about demographics, the brokers report that though historic trends have favored wealthy foreign nationals, more and more middle-class homebuyers are entering the market as well. There is a balance between those using properties for investment and those using them as residences, though it is common for families to send their kids to live in the U.S. while they remain at home in China or for the breadwinner to stay behind and continue to work. Of those that are utilizing properties for investment, they are seeing “5 to 6 percent profit a year.” And though the implementation of China’s government-issued capital controls has caused some slowdown, brokers don’t anticipate any long-term effects on those looking to purchase in the U.S., as these mandates are typically only effective in the short term as buyers find alternative ways to move their money outside of China.
Read more on the China Alliance of Real Estate Agencies their insights on foreign investment trends in the full Seattle Times article here.