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  1. #1
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    Seattle: the new Vancouver

    Can't say if it's good or bad. I suppose it depends on if you own or don't own. Most of the buying has been in Bellevue, will those occur in other areas?




    For Chinese Home Buyers, Seattle Is the New Vancouver


    By LAURA KUSISTO and KIM MACKRAEL
    Updated Feb. 7, 2017

    When Anna Riley, a Seattle-area real-estate agent, held an open house for a new $2.3 million listing in the tony city of Bellevue late last month, the pool of prospective buyers was different from the usual assortment of tech magnates, sports stars and chief executives.

    Twenty groups of buyers visited the property in the Seattle metro area—and all of them were Chinese.

    “Every single one,” said Ms. Riley, an agent at Windermere Real Estate, noting that Asian investors had typically, before last year, accounted for about a quarter of the firm’s prospective buyers.

    Chinese real-estate buyers are suddenly descending on the Seattle region.
    Some are lured by perceptions the coastal city is a bargain, others by warm memories of the 2013 Chinese film “Finding Mr. Right,” which put Seattle on the pop-culture radar there.

    The biggest draw, though, might be the fact that it isn’t Vancouver. In August, the Canadian province of British Columbia imposed a 15% tax on foreign investment in the city, which until recently was a popular destination for Chinese. The tax applies to anyone who isn’t a citizen or permanent resident of Canada and buys a home in metro Vancouver.

    The provincial government says the tax policy is aimed at making homes in the city more affordable for local residents, who have seen prices soar by nearly 50% over the past three years. The city of Vancouver also introduced a separate vacancy tax of 1% on the assessed value of an empty property.

    The moves have had a chilling effect. Web searches in China for Vancouver properties dropped 37% in December compared with a year ago, according to Juwai.com, an online real-estate portal that targets Chinese home seekers.

    Seattle, by contrast, is red hot. Searches for Seattle properties in China jumped 125% year-over-year in November, after increasing 71% in October, according to Juwai. They rose 1.8% in December.

    Kyle Moss, a real-estate agent at Redfin, said he received a call from a Chinese man within 72 hours of the tax passing who said he represented 20 families interested in buying real estate in Seattle. Mr. Moss said for some, the appeal is being near family and friends who own in Vancouver, 120 miles away.

    Canadians Are Offered Home Loans to Battle Vancouver’s High Prices (Dec. 15)
    Vancouver Tax Raises Costs for One Couple by Almost $113,000 Overnight (Dec. 3)
    It is too early to quantify the effect of Chinese interest on Seattle’s home sales, and no one tracks the ethnicities of buyers in particular markets.

    But the sudden surge in interest in Seattle comes at a time when it already ranks among the nation’s hottest real-estate markets. It led the U.S. in home-price growth in November, according to a report released Tuesday by S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, which found prices there increased by more than 10% over the same month in 2015.

    Some places that have been favorites for Chinese in recent years—including London, Australia and, most recently, New York—are rolling out policies that discourage foreign purchasers.

    In the U.K. in late 2014, the cost of buying homes valued at more than £937,000, or $1.17 million at current exchange rates, went up on a sliding scale, rising to a 12% tax on the portion of a sale over £1.5 million. In April, an additional 3% was tacked on to the sale price of homes for foreign buyers or for those renting out their properties.

    Australia bars foreigners from purchasing resale properties, and some states also have imposed taxes on foreign purchasers. In New York, the mayor last week proposed a 2.5% tax on properties of $2 million or more, a favorite category of foreigners.

    Mike O’Brien, a Seattle City Council member, said he is exploring measures, including a vacancy tax, to combat another trend that has irked Vancouver residents: foreign investors who leave homes vacant and untended. “It baffles me that people would buy real estate here and not fill it up,” he said.

    Stella Guo, a third-year university student from China, and her family recently purchased two waterfront properties in Seattle for more than $5 million each.
    The family owns a Chinese development company and is looking at building projects in the northwestern U.S.

    Ms. Guo, who attends college in Arizona, said she doesn’t plan to live in Seattle full-time but wanted a place for her and her family to relax on vacation and was drawn to Seattle’s temperate climate, according to answers to emailed questions provided by her real-estate agent, Robert Pong, senior global real-estate adviser at Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty.

    Lili Shang, an agent at the Seattle-area agency, said she is seeing many Chinese families and investors looking to sell property in Vancouver and move their money to Seattle because of the tax. “I think people realize that Vancouver is no more a fun place to do investments,” she said.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/for-chi...ver-1486500393

  2. #2
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    Brilliant, so the lessons learned in Vancouver, and many other places, are now being totally ignored in Seattle. These buyers are mostly just looking for somewhere to park their money, flip the property and make a profit on it. In the process they drive the costs of housing way beyond the means of the locals who have to work their ass off, pay their taxes and try to save up enough for a deposit onr a house to live in...

    Tax the shit out of them and sent them off to fuck somebody else's real estate market up. The very fact that they want to sell out and flee Vancouver because of a one time 15% tax must tell us something about how much they love Vancouver. The only thing they love is making more money out of everything, at ever opportunity. Does anyone in Seattle think it's going to be different for them?
    I blame the Americans......and Thaksin.

  3. #3
    Sukhumvet
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Pizza
    by her real-estate agent, Robert Pong,
    ..and don't think any non-Chinese real state agents will be making any money. But they're Americans? Right.

  4. #4
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    Click on Sotheby's International Real Estate site...I'm sure you'll find something...

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    Quote Originally Posted by koman View Post
    Brilliant, so the lessons learned in Vancouver, and many other places, are now being totally ignored in Seattle. These buyers are mostly just looking for somewhere to park their money, flip the property and make a profit on it. In the process they drive the costs of housing way beyond the means of the locals who have to work their ass off, pay their taxes and try to save up enough for a deposit onr a house to live in...

    Tax the shit out of them and sent them off to fuck somebody else's real estate market up. The very fact that they want to sell out and flee Vancouver because of a one time 15% tax must tell us something about how much they love Vancouver. The only thing they love is making more money out of everything, at ever opportunity. Does anyone in Seattle think it's going to be different for them?
    Spot-on.

    Brilliant post.

    I wonder how or if - Seattle will respond to this.

    Seattle is not only very slow to digest things, but slow to act.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by koman View Post
    Brilliant, so the lessons learned in Vancouver, and many other places, are now being totally ignored in Seattle. These buyers are mostly just looking for somewhere to park their money, flip the property and make a profit on it. In the process they drive the costs of housing way beyond the means of the locals who have to work their ass off, pay their taxes and try to save up enough for a deposit onr a house to live in...

    Tax the shit out of them and sent them off to fuck somebody else's real estate market up. The very fact that they want to sell out and flee Vancouver because of a one time 15% tax must tell us something about how much they love Vancouver. The only thing they love is making more money out of everything, at ever opportunity. Does anyone in Seattle think it's going to be different for them?
    The same has happened in London, but Russian buyers help increase the property prices.

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    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Common phenomenon: folks looking for safe place to park assets...Venezuelans and other South Americans in Miami and environs, Japanese in New York (70s and 80s), Russians in LA, etc...unfortunately, for the corrupt with purloined cash, the US is a big draw...Imelda and Najib can provide more information...
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  8. #8
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    Capitalism and the American dream. What better place than in the USA?

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    A quick overview of what's happened in Vancouver. Maybe somebody in Seattle's council will read this.

    Vancouver’s multimillion-dollar homes are increasingly out of reach for Vancouverites. And nothing speaks to the Canadian city’s affordability crisis more than its empty houses.

    Vacant or temporarily occupied dwellings have more than doubled since 2001 to 66,719 last year as neighborhoods are hollowing out, said Andy Yan, director of Simon Fraser University’s City Program, who analyzed census data for Metro Vancouver released Wednesday. Observers worry the trend will undermine Canada’s fastest-growing regional economy.

    Public scrutiny has focused on landlords, particularly from abroad, who park their cash in investment properties where windows remain dark throughout the year. Vancouver introduced a new tax on empty homes last month aimed at boosting the supply of rentals in a city facing a near-zero vacancy rate. The province also imposed a 15 percent tax on foreign buyers last August after discovering more than C$1 billion ($761 million) of global cash had flowed into local properties over a five-week period.

    "It’s unacceptable for so much housing to be treated as a commodity," Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a statement Thursday. "Housing is for homes first, and as investments second. Vancouver will continue to do all it can to maintain and protect affordable homes, and pursue all tools available to ensure the best use of all our housing."

    Playground for Rich

    Concerns are growing that the Pacific Coast city -- long a magnet for global cash -- is turning into a playground for the rich as luxury real estate squeezes industry and prices out the middle class. The provincial economy leads Canadian growth and job creation, yet its public schools are suffering from declining enrollment and households earn below the national median. Businesses using Canada’s largest port struggle to carve out space, while low-wage service sector jobs cater to wealthy retirees and tourists.

    Policymakers and real estate experts are increasingly calling for more housing supply and greater density near the city center to boost productivity and temper prices. Yet the latest census figures show the opposite may be happening.

    The number of residents on Vancouver’s west side -- long favored by families and an easy commute to downtown -- has fallen 3 percent since 2001, in contrast to 5 percent growth in population across the whole city, Yan said. The median single-family house can cost as much as C$4.9 million in that area -- about 65 times Vancouver’s median household income. David Eby, a member of British Columbia’s legislative assembly, last year identified C$57.1 million worth of residences bought by students reporting no income in his west-side district of Point Grey.

    Such neighborhoods "have become just luxury items like Ferraris," said Yan. "They’re not affordable for most local incomes."

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koman
    Such neighborhoods "have become just luxury items like Ferraris," said Yan. "They’re not affordable for most local incomes."
    ...the canadian gov't, realtors and builders all welcomed the influx of Chinese money...now folks are complaining about the influx of Chinese riches (ill-gotten or not). Either raise local incomes to compete with wealthy Chinese...or push the complainers out to the far suburbs...Chinese cash uber alles!...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by koman
    Such neighborhoods "have become just luxury items like Ferraris," said Yan. "They’re not affordable for most local incomes."
    ...the canadian gov't, realtors and builders all welcomed the influx of Chinese money...now folks are complaining about the influx of Chinese riches (ill-gotten or not). Either raise local incomes to compete with wealthy Chinese...or push the complainers out to the far suburbs...Chinese cash uber alles!...
    So, it seems you don't understand the difference between normal Chinese folks moving to Canada, buying a house to live in and contributing to the community, and those who just park their cash in houses, leave them empty and speculate on rising real estate prices?

    Investors versus speculators..... one good, other bad.....get it yet, smartass...

  12. #12
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    Most of the city council is to busy up-zoning as much of the city as possible to increase tax revenue under the guise of density. I really doubt that they will take action on this issue until it is too late. There is little uproar over this in the city at the moment surprisingly.

    Most homeowners are happy that their property values keep going up. A key point to make here is that Seattle has been undergoing a tech boom for several years and much of the blame for the increasing housing costs is due to people who are moving into the city.

    I think most of the Chinese investment has been focused on the East side of Lake Washington outside the city limits of Seattle so even if the council got involved the Chinese would just buy in places like Bellevue and Kirkland (McMansion land). Places they are primarily buying in anyway. This would require the county council to pass a resolution if it was going to have any effect.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ^^*Sigh*: Canadians...harden the fuck up or I forward your mealy-mouthed post to Open-carry Slick for a real man's analysis...

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