Chinese home builders bet on US rebound

By Dow Jones

Landsea Green Properties, a Chinese home builder listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, has started residential projects spanning hundreds of planned homes in San Francisco, New Jersey and in Ventura County, California, near Los Angeles.

Also on the West Coast, Starryland USA, a subsidiary of Chinese developer Fuxing Huiyu Real Estate intends to build upscale homes in development projects in San Francisco's Bay Area; in Orange County, California; and near Seattle.

A survey released in July by the National Association of Realtors found that Chinese buyers purchased US$22 billion of U. S. homes in the 12-month period ended in March at an average price of US$590,826, accounting for 24 per cent of home purchases by foreigners by dollar volume. That is up from US$12. 8 billion, or 19 per cent, in the previous 12 months.

And tightened credit standards in China have hampered demand. "One of the reasons that we are looking abroad is for safer assets that offer steady returns in a mature market," said Jay Hu, a management consultant at Starryland. To be sure, some U. S. home builders and developers also are targeting Asian buyers.

Ho anticipates selling prices will range from US$600,000 to well into the millions of dollars, partly because it is building in particularly expensive markets. Starryland's U. S. projects under development include 100 single-family homes near San Francisco, more than 200 homes near Seattle and a complex of more than 800 condos in Orange County, California.

Landsea sold 12,000 homes in China last year and had revenue of US$1. 85 billion. In the U. S. , both are based in the Los Angeles area, and both are light on U. S. employees — with eight each — because they are doing more development than construction.

Read more here: Business Spectator


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