Chinese interest in the Seattle-area housing market is only intensifying and adding more pressure to an already extremely competitive region.
A VIP group from China toured homes on Thursday, including a $10 million house in Bellevue. Windermere Real Estate hosted the group, members of the China Alliance of Real Estate Agencies, who are also touring homes in New York, Dallas, and Chicago.
Though they are primarily looking at luxury homes, Chinese interest is expanding throughout the market to homes less than a million dollars, real estate agents from China said.
“Chinese buyers, they are from the middle class. A lot of people (are) interested (in) the property in U.S.,” said Chris Hu, chairman of China Alliance of Real Estate Agencies.
“If we do have foreign investors coming in, that essentially puts more would-be buyers into an already supply-starved market,” said Matthew Gardner, chief economist for Windermere Real Estate.
Vancouver, B.C., enacted a 15% tax on foreign homebuyers last year, and that's pushing a lot of Chinese south to Seattle, where they love that the economy is booming, Gardner said. They think a purchase here is a solid investment.
They're also looking for great schools.
“A lot of Chinese rich people and investors want their children to go to the high-level school, to get high-level education here,” Hu said.
Gardner said he doesn’t see the influx of foreign buyers slowing down anytime soon, certainly not in 2018.