Sean Mei, Founding Partner of Partners Trust China was a pivotal member of The Real Deal’s U.S. Real Estate Showcase & Forum held in Shanghai last week. Los Angeles remains a top city for Chinese real estate investment. Chinese investors are spending billions of dollars investing in U.S. real estate. The bulk of this over $30 billion investment is in the commercial market but increasingly Chinese investors are also getting involved on the residential side.
Sean Mei mentioned that New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Chicago as “the big six” in terms of investor interest and that the U.S. market’s “liquidity and transparency” are big draws for Chinese money. Investors are looking for safe places to park their money. Greg Peng, CEO of Cindat Capital, which manages U.S. real estate investments for asset manager China Cinda mentioned that both Pasadena and Downtown Los Angeles have plenty of opportunities and interest from investors.
The instability of the stock market and global economic uncertainty may actually be a boon for Chinese investment in U.S. real estate, as Luxury Daily recently pointed out. Investors are drawn to areas that they have heard of and have global visibility. Many are interested in living near the beach in Malibu or in Beverly Hills simply because they have heard of these places and they have international cachet. Many Chinese nationals buying residential real estate are also doing so because they have young children and they are drawn to good schools.
Across the Southland from Beverly Hills to the San Gabriel Valley, Chinese tourism remains a major economic growth factor. Pasadena just became the latest city to launch a “China Ready” program and hopes to increase the visibility of Pasadena in China.