LATEST NEWS

Chinese Passion For US Real Estate Launches A Cottage Industry Of Websites

Online real estate listing sites are becoming a new hub for international investors.

By Jeff Vasishta November 3, 2016
Copyright: William Potter

Insane is definitely the right way to characterize it,” real estate attorney Edward Mermelstein, who has worked on projects with Chinese investors, told the NY Daily News regarding the Chinese infatuation with NY real estate. It makes sense then, that NY brokers are courting Chinese buyers like investment bankers court super-models, with regular trips to China and a slew of Chinese speaking agents on their books. A number of listings websites geared specifically towards Chinese buyers have sprouted up. Perhaps the most well-known is juwai.com. Another new start-up aimed on capitalizing on the lucrative Chinese market in New York is the Chinese language website, samaki.com, founded by Jim Anawabi, who is not Chinese but rather a Newark, NJ based former US Army engineer.

Related: Why Chinese Investors Aren’t Conservative When It Comes To Cash

Anawabi told the Brick Underground that about half of the traffic comes from buyers in the United States, and the other half from China. International buyers are often in the market for properties priced over $1 million.

“Any neighborhood with new condo towers has increased Chinese popularity, most notably the area around the Hudson Yards, and the Upper East Side,” he explains. “For rentals, any neighborhood surrounding a CUNY/SUNY school will have a huge spike before school starts, for fall, spring, and summer semesters.”

“Brooklyn’s Chinatown is centered on the N train’s 8th Avenue subway station (8th Avenue and 60th Street),” he continued “but as that area became more expensive, people have started branching out to the surrounding neighborhoods, usually following the path of the N train, all the way to the 20th Avenue station. “For Queens, most working class Chinese are priced out of buying Flushing property, so the nearby areas (Bayside, Fresh Meadows, Corona, Elmhurst) has been extremely popular.”

Related: Free Fallin’:London Property Tumble Attracts Chinese Investors

It’s proven a big draw with New York brokerages like Douglas Elliman, Century 21, Charles Rutenberg and the Ideal Properties Group, all of whom have partnered with Samaki to show their listings and pay the website a portion of their commission.

The number one site for Chinese investors,  juwai.com has a distinct advantage because of its international reach. Its listings are visible online both within China, where a strict firewall exists, and outside of China. Also, the properties it showcases are worldwide.  Juwai’s Chinese-language team is itself based in mainland China and acts as a go between to Chinese inquiries, translating to English and passing them on to their English speaking counterparts and applicable brokers. With 69 percent of Chinese purchasing US real estate on an all cash basis, it has made sense for brokerages such as Sotheby’s to partner with Juwai and utilize their infrastructure.

“We are constantly looking for opportunities to expand globally by adding new distribution opportunities that showcase properties to affluent consumers in key growth markets. The alliance with Juwai.com achieves that by giving us better access to a market that is already one of our most important, and which promises great future growth,” said Wendy Purvey, chief marketing officer of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC.

It’s inevitable, given the interest in overseas real estate from China that many other copy-cat sites have sprouted up. Some such as the Silicon Valley based glogou.com appear act as real estate consultants for Chinese buyers, rather than a fully-fledged listings company with a platform and listings.

The five-year investment in residential and commercial real estate in the US, now tops $110 billion, and is set to reach $218 billion by the end of the decade, according to a study from the Asia Society and Rosen Consulting Group. So expect many more such web sites, apps and buyer consultancies catering to the flow of yen to dollars to continue. The question many American buyers may be asking themselves is, how can they possibly compete?

Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

  • AGORAFY
    Avocado toasts are the reason why millennials can’t afford a home, says one Australian real estate developer. #AvocadoToast #Millennials https://goo.gl/TBCPnv
  • AGORAFY
    Five years on since Superstorm Sandy, Queens’ coastal peninsula is in the midst of a development boom. #Development #Rockaways https://goo.gl/BRKRrD
  • AGORAFY
    It turns out, renters can’t get enough of good ol’ no-doorman-no-frills apartments. Too bad developers aren’t building any. #Doorman #LuxuryRentals https://goo.gl/pdnbo6
The Housing Market In Shenzhen, The Silicon Valley of China, Slows In 2017
The city of Shenzhen has been on the real estate radar for quite some time. It is known as the Silicon Valley of China. Many…
Developers Jump Aboard The Trend To Revamp Transit Hubs And Remake Cities
Never has the often used marketing term, “close to transportation” been more important when attracting home buyers. These days it’s not just homes that are…
Millennials Are Fueling The Current Sizzling Real Estate Market
Ever wondered why the hosts of home improvement shows seem to be getting progressively younger, along with the fresh-faced couples getting their new properties made…
The Best Cities For Recent Grads To Rent – Without Blowing Their Entire Paycheck
What’s next post graduation? For most, the logical answer is to find a job. After the excitement of finishing your studies and the big celebration,…
Luxury Knows No Limit In Malaysia As A Deluge Of New Developments Hit The Market
The amount of newly constructed high-end real estate in Malaysia is almost as abundant as the lush vegetation which covers the tropical landscape. Despite vacant…
Don’t Call It A Commune – Upscale Co-Living Is Attracting Major Development
What may have once been referred to as a commune is today termed a co-living space. The big news that it’s not hippies with hemp…
It’s Official—New York Is Now The Most Expensive City In The World To Build
As if you didn’t already know, it’s expensive to build in New York City. Not just expensive but now officially the most expensive place in…
An Ultimate Destination For The Most Comprehensive Real Estate Data, Agorafy Prepares To Launch Nationwide
In the coming days, Agorafy will be entering a new chapter. It is the beginning of a new growth cycle in real estate technology with…

TOP 10