The Strategist

Warren Buffett to sell American real estate to Chinese wealthies

04/19/2017 - 11:56

Legendary investor Warren Buffett is going to sell houses to Chinese upper-class. His HomeServices, which deals with real estate brokerage, "expands its global reach by attracting wealthy Chinese citizens to buying homes in the US".

April 17, HomeServices announced conclusion of an advertising agreement with website, the monthly audience of about 2 million unique users. Thus, advertisement of houses in the US will be available on both sides of the "Great Chinese firewall". "The Chinese have outperformed everyone in terms of buying real estate in the US (with the exception, of course, of the Americans themselves) ", says Gino Blefari, Chief Administrator at HomeServices. According to him, the agreement with will make search for real estate in the United States much easier for the Chinese consumers. Kerry Donovan, Vice President of Marketing for HomeServices, expects that advertising will attract customers and significantly increase sales.

At the moment, HomeServices owns 38 real estate agencies with 29 thousand employees. In addition, the company owns a franchise network of 375 agencies with 46 thousand employees. Warren Buffett and his investment fund Berkshire Hathaway are very popular in China. Coca-Cola recently announced that it is going to put a portrait of Buffett, who, by the way, is the company’s larger investor, on cans of a limited series of the cherry-flavored drink.

According to the latest statistics, home sales in the US secondary housing market have risen by 2.8 percent over the past month and a half, and now amount to 5.69 million homes, while analysts forecast an increase in sales by an average of 1.5 percent. The January figure was the highest since February 2007.

Together with the secondary market, the American market of new buildings has brightened up a little. In the past three months, prices for US housing have ceased to fall, and in January they grew by an average of 1 percent.

Yet, the situation on the commercial real estate market is not so rosy: analysts predict a massive winding-up of American shopping centers. The shopping malls crisis began last year, and has only intensified by now. This is influenced by the accelerating e-commerce in parallel with decline in demand for clothing and accessories.

In January 2017, the average cost of houses and apartments in the country rose by 5.9% per year. This was the highest rate in the last two years.

According to S&P Dow Jones, which once again published the so-called Case-Shiller index, for the last twelve months the highest annual price increase was recorded in Seattle (+ 11.3%), Portland (+ 9.7%) and Denver (+9, 2%).

In Miami, for the year, housing has risen in price by an average of 6.7%, in Los Angeles - by 5.3%, in New York - by 3.2%. CoreLogic says that in 2017 residential real estate in the country will continue to go up in price, and will add almost 5% by January 2018. Therefore, it is now profitable and promising to invest in the country’s square meters.