The Golden Week holiday is coming in China on Oct. 1, and with it, hundreds of thousands deep pocketed Chinese scouring planet Earth (mostly U.S.) looking for real estate.
The Golden Week holidays are often used by savvy real estate marketers as a time to build relationships with Chinese buyers they can’t meet in person during most of the year.
“This travel surge will impact different markets in different ways,” says Andrew Taylor, co-CEO of Juwai.com, a Chinese real estate portal. “Some countries will see more viewings, others will transactions. If you get a buyer in from China and they want to see properties, sometimes you just have to drop everything and drive them around for a couple of days. They have limited time before they have to fly home, and it’s in your interest to find a property for them while they are in country.”
The Chinese are becoming the hottest foreign buyers of American real estate, especially on the West Coast. They hold a combined $13.1 trillion in investable assets, according to China Merchants Bank and Bain & Company.
And approximately $655 billion is allocated to overseas real estate markets, according to the bank. Moreover, some 60 million middle class Chinese are said to be looking at overseas real estate, says Juwai.
Juwai said their website sees a 66% surge in property searches in the two weeks prior to Golden Week holidays. During the holiday itself, mobile usage of Juwai.com doubles as more property hunters access property listings from their smart phones.
Wealthy Chinese are buying all around the world, with the U.S. their favorite place for house hunting.
They’re buying in Orange County, California, and in Queens, New York.
Christine Lu, founder of Affinity China, is hosting an event in Hawaii next month for China’s affluent. One of the topics is how to buy your American dream home.
“During the week, we’ll be providing complimentary tours of Hawaii’s best neighborhoods to give visiting Chinese an overview of Hawaii’s real estate market. They will tour some open houses and schedule follow-up private appointments with real estate partners,” Lu said.
Some Chinese walk the Great Wall, others go to Shanghai Disney. China’s one percenters ship off the mainland to buy a 5,000 square foot home in Oahu.
Golden Week started back in 1999 as a means to get Chinese to travel around the country to visit family. Traffic often comes to a complete stop, with people getting out of their cars to stretch or exercise. Those who want to avoid all that will be airport bound, and will be knocking on the doors of many American realtors in two weeks.
Kenneth Rapoza, Contributor