China has become the biggest buyer of US real estate by both sales and dollar volume, beating Canada to account for a quarter of all international sales. A study by the National Association of Realtors of the United States showed the $28.6 billion Chinese buyers spent on US homes constituted 16 percent of all purchases by foreigners in the 12 months through March.
Canadians buyers that had led international purchases since 2008 came in second, spending $11.2 billion. Real estate buyers from India, Mexico and the UK followed in third, fourth and fifth place, respectively. For the purpose of the study, buyers from Hong Kong and Taiwan were lumped in with those from mainland China.
In April 2014, Chinese buyers were named by Manhattan real estate brokers as the top buyers of high-end real estate in the city, taking over from the top position from Russian buyers. Reuters asked the top five real estate brokerages for their ranking of foreign buyers in New York City, for which Chinese buyers ranked first in both volume and value of sales for all estimates.
Chinese buyers are expected to become the top foreign buyers of real estate in London, UK by 2016, while they became the leading purchaser of high-end real estate in Sydney, Australia back in 2013. Georgetown University economics professor Arthur Dong said the trend of Chinese investing abroad is a result of reforms under Chinese President Xi Jinping that are causing instability throughout the country.
“People are looking for an exit. They don’t feel certain that as a result of the political reforms and the political corruption that they are going to be spared. They are trying to take their personal resources outside the country,” said Dong.