Published December 11, 2008

300 Chinese in US foray to buy houses

(BEIJING) Three hundred cashed-up Chinese will visit the United States next month to seek bargains in the plunging American real estate market, a tour organiser said yesterday.

The itinerary will include major US cities such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, said Liu Jian, chief operating officer of, a popular Chinese real estate portal that has arranged the trip.

'We think that there is a need for people in China to buy houses in the United States,' he told AFP.

'Some people believe that there's an opportunity for them because of the economic decline in the United States, which has made real estate prices drop.'

The state-run China Daily newspaper said that 40 per cent of those who had registered for the 10-day, 15,000 yuan (S$3,292) trip were investors seeking opportunities in the US market.

'(They) have been following the increase in mortgage foreclosures in the US, and the decline in the real estate market,' Mr Liu told the paper.

The other 60 per cent are looking for homes for their children, who plan to go to the United States to study, according to the report.

Local regulations limit Chinese visiting the US to taking US$50,000 a year, but some potential property buyers have gone on enough trips to accumulate sufficient funds, the paper said. -- AFP