A lot of different factors can affect local real estate markets. Sometimes, as in the case of Seattle right now, decisions by another municipality can impact the demand for housing and investment properties.
For many years, Chinese home buyers looking to profit on the North American real estate markets have been investing in homes in a number of cities. Vancouver has long been a popular locality for investment purchasing. The home values in the city have continued to rise for years, making it an attractive investment location. However, investment buyers were impacting resident’s ability to buy.
To counter the number of Chinese real estate investors who are gobbling up much of the prime real estate in Vancouver, the city decided to impose a 15% tax on investment properties purchased by foreign companies or individuals. In response, Chinese investors are looking south to Seattle as a solid alternative with strong property values. Forbes indicates that investment by the Chinese is up substantially in the last two years. In 2014, Chinese investors represented less than a quarter of Seattle home buyers. In 2016, that figure jumped to roughly 50%.
Seattle Is Now a Hot Market for Asian Investors
With more properties than ever being purchased by international investors who don’t even come to physically look at the homes, the Seattle real estate market has become even more competitive than it has been in recent years. Home buyers should be ready to move quickly on a property they want to buy, making their best offer from the outset.
Many times, sellers will not come back to one offer if another is higher. They will simply sell to the party that offers the most for the property. The higher your budget, the more likely you are to face competition from Chinese home buyers.
Investors aren’t the only Chinese looking to buy in Seattle. Many Chinese people relocating to North America are considering Seattle. The city has a substantial Chinese population, and real estate professionals are realizing the potential there. Some are learning Mandarin, while others, like builders, are beginning to offer properties that fit with traditional Chinese values. Homes with specialized kitchens and second apartments for adult children or aging parents are becoming much more common.
Working with the right real estate agent can improve your chances of successfully buying a home. It’s also important to make sure that you are pre-approved for a mortgage that will cover the full price of your offer. Seattle Mortgage Planners can help you secure the home of your dreams, even in a highly competitive international market.