Foreign investment in U.S. real estate is not a new trend. According to a recent survey of foreign investors by a Washington-based trade group, U.S. real estate is “perceived to provide a stable environment in which to invest and is the best market for capital.”
This is likely one of many reasons why China’s Oceanwide Holdings Group Company is becoming one of California’s most assertive property buyers. The real estate firm, based in the capital of Beijing, is led by chairman Lu Zhiqiang. In the past two years, Zhiqiang has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into U.S. West Coast commercial and residential real estate.
While many foreign countries have invested in U.S. commercial real estate, Chinese investors generally top the list. Chinese firms are dealing with a slowing Chinese market and see room for growth overseas.
According to Real Capital Analytics LLC, Chinese investors bought a record $3.9 billion of U.S. commercial real estate just last year, nearly 1% of all commercial property sales. It is the most invested of any country, other than Canada and Norway.
Oceanwide Holdings Group in particular has recently made plans for numerous developments. In 2013, Zhiqiang bought a site in downtown LA. The firm is now working on developing a three-tower complex of apartments, retail space and a hotel. Last December, it was also announced that Oceanwide intends to build the second-tallest tower in San Francisco. The tower is said to be a 910-foot office building designed by Norman Foster.
Nowadays, brokers suggest that foreign buyers represent more than 75% of the market for houses listed at more than $20 million. A decade ago, the vast majority of buyers were local.
While this may be true, luxury real estate is still on the rise among many local Californians. At the end of last year, we featured an LA Times report that suggested that the number of Southern California homes bought for $2 million or more in recent months was highest on record, a result of investment from many local buyers.
If you’re interested in luxury real estate, high-end, beautiful homes can be found in almost every region of California. However, Southern California is a popular choice for good reason. Some of the most luxurious neighborhoods include Beverly Hills, Rancho Santa Fe, Malibu, Newport Beach, and Huntington Beach.
Looking at Rancho Santa Fe in particular? Contact Catherine and Jason Barry for more information!