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Chinese house hunters venture overseas (4)

By Zhao Yanrong and Lu Chang (China Daily)

08:52, December 24, 2012

Chinese investors made up more than $7 billion of the total and they are now the second biggest overseas purchasers of US property as of March this year.

Real estate agents say Chinese buyers are also putting more of their money in the US housing market as an investment or as a second home for their children to live in.

Avi Lasri, vice-president of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, said Chinese buyers interested in buying US properties are parents who want their children to be educated in the United States.

"Some even purchase a house a few years ahead of their children going to college," Lasri said, "so for many Chinese, a property in the US is often regarded as an investment in a child's education".

The influx of China's nouveau riche has pushed developers to compete for their attention.

The Centurion, a 19-story condominium in New York City's Midtown Manhattan, was designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei. Richard Pino, CFO and associate broker of New York Resident, said that after a marketing trip to China recently, the Centurion and Pei's reputation attracted a number of Asian buyers.

Pino said Pei's works - the Louvre Pyramid in Paris and the Four Seasons Hotel in Midtown East - are so well-known among Chinese that he has received dozens of requests from Chinese buyers who want to fly to New York at a moment's notice to potentially seal the deal.

"It is a very prestigious project, and (Chinese) recognize the name," he said. "They like the neighborhood, the amenities and all the fancy things."

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