chinese home buyersBuyers from China have surpassed Canadians as the most prolific buyers of U.S. residential real estate, both in terms of volume and value. According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, Chinese buyers purchased $28.6 billion worth of homes in the U.S. and accounted for 16% of all foreign buyers who bought residential real estate during the 12-month period that ended in March.

The influx of Chinese buyers into the U.S. real estate market has been well-chronicled during the last 18 months or so, but this is the first study that shows they are the biggest foreign buyers of homes. Canadians had led the way in this study for every year since 2008, but their $11.2 billion worth of purchases was less than half that of Chinese buyers.

The value of U.S. homes bought by Chinese buyers has more than doubled in just the past two years. In 2013, they purchased $12.2 billion worth residential estate and last year it was $22 billion. The average cost of a home bought by the Chinese here was $831,000, which is well-above the $499,000 average purchase price of all foreign buyers.

N.A.R reported there were 209,000 homes in the U.S. sold to foreign buyers during the 12-month period ending in March.

Residential real estate in the U.S. is proving a magnet for Chinese buyers and there are several reasons why. China’s economy has undergone tremendous growth in recent years, which in turn has produced a class of millionaires that need somewhere to put there money. They see U.S. real estate as a safe investment.
According to the study, 39% of home sales to Chinese were for primary residences and 7% were purchased for children as they attend college in the U.S. Just 23% bought homes to be used as residential rental properties.

California was easily the most popular destination among Chinese home buyers, as 35% of their purchases came in the Golden State.

You can read the full press release on the study, which includes several additional tidbits of information, by clicking here.