China Daily interviewed with RSIR’s Dean Jones regarding the meteoric rise in Chinese nationals purchasing properties in the Seattle/Bellevue metro area in a January 5, 2015 article. Despite the rising home prices spurred in part by international demand, the article suggests the Pacific Northwest may be “globally undervalued” when compared with other gateway markets like Vancouver, BC, San Francisco and Los Angeles. These kinds of statements have rallied local real estate brokers and spurred local media attention as well.
The comprehensive article cited numerous reasons why the Puget Sound region has found favor. These include Seattle being the closest mainland port to Asia with numerous direct flights; having renowned schools and universities popular with Chinese students; and most critically, Seattle being a relative value compared with other world-class cities.
Jones is quoted from the article saying:
“We are downstream from what I believe will be a steady flow of housing demand stemming from China, akin to what we’ve all seen before in Vancouver, BC, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Now the current is flowing into Seattle, given our proximity, prosperity and propensity for capital appreciation – we’re the next market on the rise.”
To be sure, the adverse changes in the Canadian immigration policy has diverted international home buying to the south while heavy taxation and expensive real estate in California has diverted traffic to the north. These recent changes have created a funnel effect into the Seattle/Bellevue metro areas.
“Chinese buyers are very savvy and they know these trends,” adds Jones. “It creates a self-fulfilling prophecy about a rising home market. In some ways it’s appropriate that 2015 is the year of the Ram because Chinese like to follow each other to create new communities.”
Chinese buyers are anticipated to be the top international home buying consumer again in 2015 and Washington state is expected to receive the most activity second only to California. The lifestyle has been promoted in a recent romance comedy moving called “Beijing Meets Seattle”, which has become a surprise blockbuster hit throughout China. It helps too that joint research between immigration giant VISAS Consulting Group and the HURUN Wealth Report cite that the majority of ultra-wealthy Chinese plan to emigrate from China.
RSIR covered many of these trends in a recent blog post following their delegation tour to Shanghai in December.