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Chinese say, ‘Howdy’ to Texas real estate

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

08-06-2015 17:28 BJT

By Tom McGregor, freelancer based in Beijing

Many Chinese homebuyers are looking to jump into the Texas real estate market with plans to reside in the Lone Star state. Texas cities offer lower median-home values compared with big markets in the East and West coasts, U.S.A.

Texas is the top-ranked state for home construction in the U.S., while the Chinese prefer purchasing new homes over existing ones. The National Association of Homebuilders issued a statement saying, “Texas is twice as large as California in total home production.”

U.S. homebuilders are designing more multi-generational homes for larger immigrant families. It’s gotten trendy to adopt Feng Shui (Chinese-style architecture) floor plans to lure Asian buyers. Texas already has large Chinese communities in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin.

Finding bigger, better and cheaper homes

The Chinese have gone bargain hunting for homes in the Lone Star state. The median-home value statewide stood at $US 200,000 as of the end of the first quarter this year, according to statistics compiled by the Texas Association of Realtors.

“Real estate in China and Hong Kong is very expensive,” Ida Hung, a Dallas-area real estate agent, told the Dallas Morning News. “In Hong Kong, just a small condominium can cost $US 1.5 million.”

“They have gone to San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles to buy for a long time,” she added “Now, they’re discovering Dallas.”

Hence, luxury homes worth $US 1 million or more in Texas look like cheap deals for the cash-rich Chinese. High-class homes for sale are especially popular in the San Antonio suburb of Dominion,

In the last 24 months, San Antonio has sold 201 homes valued at $US 1 million+, which didn’t include custom-built homes, as reported by KENS Channel 5 News.

Texas: good for work and life

The Chinese see Texas as an affordable place to live and to do business. The state’s employment rate stands well above the national average.

A few of its highly-accredited universities, such as the University of Texas-at Austin, Rice University, Texas A&M, Southern Methodist University and Texas Tech, have recruited many Chinese-born students. After graduation, they prefer to work and raise families in Texas.

The state is recognized for its oil & gas industry, but Texans are making major forays in the science and technology sectors, which include R&D (research and development).

Could small town Amarillo be the next big thing?

The Chinese, who are moving to Texas, have concentrated on its major cities. But they are overlooking smaller towns that could offer opportunities for them as well.

Despite a downturn in oil & gas prices, Amarillo remains a major player in the industry. Numerous energy companies and investors have set up shop, including BP Capital Hedge Fund Chairman T. Boone Pickens, a billionaire energy tycoon.

The Texas Panhandle town continues to enjoy growing prosperity. Home sales had risen 10.5 percent as of the end of the second-quarter last year, compared with the same timeframe last year. However, the local median-home value - $US 157,050 – stood well below the statewide average.

“The impact of lower oil prices continues to be delayed, leading to a surprisingly strong 2nd quarter,” Scott Kesner, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors, told KCIT 14 News. “In fact, Texas home sales are actually stronger than they were this time last year, when oil prices were nearly $US100 a barrel.”

Texas values equal Chinese values

The strongest selling point for the Chinese to invest in Texas appears to be bargain prices for real estate. Nonetheless, the Lone Star state offers much more for Chinese families, which include a warm climate, lower property taxes and favorable regulations to start a business. Perhaps, it’s true that the ‘stars are bright’ in Texas.

 

 

( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

 

 

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

 

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