What does Chinese stock turmoil mean for U.S. real estate?

by Ryan Smith10 Jul 2015
Recent turmoil in the Chinese stock market could have a direct effect on the U.S. housing market, according to a CNBC report.

Chinese investors are currently the biggest foreign buyers of U.S. housing, according to CNBC. In the last year, they’ve spent $28.6 billion on U.S. property – more than double the money spent by the second-biggest foreign investors, the Canadians.

That’s meant a windfall for many U.S. developers. The question is, will the recent trouble in the Chinese stock market cause those investments to dry up?

Real estate consultant John Burns doesn’t think so.

“My conclusion on China is that those who are buying U.S. real estate are doing it with a very long-term view – to diversify their assets, provide a safe haven in case something happens at home,” Burns told CNBC. “I don’t think a 30% stock correction after a relatively recent 150% boom changes much of that.”

In fact, it’s possible that rough economic weather in China could increase investor interest in U.S. properties.

“With economic turmoil comes heightened desirability to place money where it is stable and secure,” Lennar Homes CEO Stuart Miller told CNBC. “While real estate here becomes more expensive, it also becomes more desirable.”

“So far, we’re not seeing any slowing in interest from potential Chinese investors,” Auction.com CEO Rick Sharga added. “And it’s possible that the stock market crash may actually have the opposite effect and stimulate Chinese high-net-worth individuals to move money out of the country and into the relative safety of U.S. real estate.”


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