International homebuyers are having increasingly more impact on the local real estate market. And in the past few years, wealthy Chinese nationals have emerged as the biggest foreign buyers of real estate in King County.
Below is a brief overview of the potential buying power of this growing market.
Spotlight on China
Chinese have considerable wealth and are looking for opportunities to invest that wealth in the U.S.
• China has the second largest GDP in the world after the U.S.
• China has over two million millionaires, more than any country but the U.S.
• 47% of Chinese millionaires plan to move out of the country in the next five years.
Chinese traditionally see real estate as a strong investment
• Of all international buyers, Chinese are the largest in dollar volume of homes purchased in the U.S.
• The median price of homes purchased was $523,148.
• Approximately 76 percent of purchases were all cash.
Chinese buyers are drawn to the Puget Sound area
• Of the $22 billion dollars in sales from Chinese buyers in 2014, 9% took place in Washington state. This means Chinese clients purchased $1.98 billion in residential real estate in Washington state last year. To put that number in context, $1.98 billion represents 14 percent of all sales in King County in 2013.
• When asked why they are leaving China, 78 percent of respondents in a Barclays and Ledbury study said they were seeking better educational and employment opportunities for their children.
A next generation of Chinese are making their home here
• 11 percent of the UW 2013 freshman class is from China.
• More than half of the international applications to the UW Graduate School came from China.
• Finding Mr. Right, a blockbuster Chinese romantic comedy set in Seattle, has become one of China’s top-grossing films of all time and is helping to boost interest in the area.