As we first reported two years ago, one of the primary reasons, if not the main one (there is also the Fed to thank) why the US housing market, and specifically its ultra-luxury segment, has experienced a recovery in the past two years even as the other segments of US housing have languished, was due to foreign investors laundering offshore funds in the US real estate market facilitated by the NAR's exemption from anti-money laundering regulations. This topic finally made the mainstream media recently with the NY Mag's article on just this topic titled "Stash Pad", which we also covered extensively. Today, for the first time, we have definitive evidence of not only all of the above, but granular detail of just how "easy" Chinese money has been when it comes to bidding US real estate.
As the WSJ reports, "foreign purchases of U.S. real estate jumped by 35% last year, and the Chinese led the way, according to a survey released Tuesday.
Chinese buyers have become the largest source of foreign cash in the U.S. residential real estate market, accounting for nearly one in four dollars spent by foreigners on American housing last year, the National Association of Realtors said in its annual survey of international property sales.China accounted for $22 billion in international sales for the 12 month period ending March 2014, or 24% of all foreign sales, up from $12.8 billion, or 19%, during the year-earlier period.Total international property sales rebounded last year to $92.2 billion, according to the NAR’s estimates, up from $68.2 billion in 2013 and $82.5 billion in 2012. The total represented around 7% of the market for all U.S. sales of previously owned homes during the same period.
This is shown in the chart belowREAD MORE