NEW YORK – Oct. 13, 2015 – An analysis of housing sales in the U.S. shows that 46 percent of Mandarin Chinese-speaking buyers who purchased homes in the 17 months ending in May 2015 paid all-cash, according to RealtyTrac.
The analysis by the Irvine, California-based realty research company and Ethnic Technologies, a New Jersey-based multicultural marketing company, also showed that since 2005, Mandarin-speaking buyers paying all cash had an increase of 229 percent from the 14 percent share paying all cash in 2005 – the biggest increase of any language group.
The two companies looked at 10 million publicly recorded residential property sales deeds in 2014 and 2015 compared with 2005 by ethnicity and native language spoken. The results were determined by software that can determine ethnicity and language preference based on first name, last name, and address of the record, according to Ethnic Technologies.
“Cash buyers across the board are playing a much bigger role in the housing market now than they were 10 years ago, and that is particularly true for Chinese Mandarin-speaking cash buyers, who are more likely to be foreign nationals,” said Daren Blomquist, vice-president at RealtyTrac, in a release accompanying the analysis on Oct 6.
Overall, Mandarin speakers are the second largest non-English speaking cash-paying group, totaling nearly 18 percent of all cash deals, second behind those buyers speaking Spanish at 43 percent, according to the analysis.
Blomquist said that markets with a higher share of foreign cash buyers may expect to see a stronger upside in the short term because of continued global economic instability. “But those markets are also more susceptible to a downside in the longer term when demand from foreign cash buyers dries up,” he added.
RealtyTrac quoted several US brokers in various parts of the U.S. about sales. Mark Hughes, chief operating officer with First Team Real Estate, covering the Southern California market, said: “Given the somewhat laid-back Chinese government attention to withdrawal limits, we expect these funds to continue to be a driver of activity and bidding throughout this year.”
Asian buyers make up more than one-third of all international real estate buyers in the U.S., and Chinese buyers spent $22 billion on US housing in the 12 months through March 2014 – 72 percent more than a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors, buying mostly high-end, expensive homes with a median price of more than $500,000.
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