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Quote of the Week: Chinese buyers are the new Russians

By Juwai, 10 December 2013

"It used to be, if you had a Russian client, the Red Sea parted, and now that’s true for the Chinese. If I have a Chinese buyer, I’m going to get any appointment I want. It’s amazing."

Dolly Lenz, Queen of U.S. real estate

It seems that there's no stopping the Chinese — even Dolly Lenz, the "Queen of US real estate" who has sold more business than any other agent in the U.S. since 1997, finds herself inundated with wealthy Chinese clients who are well on the fast track to becoming the movers and shakers in the dog-eat-dog world of New York real estate.

Hailing them as the new Russians, Lenz believes the deluge of Chinese investors into New York boils down to three main factors: the need of China's ultra wealthy to diversify their portfolio, to protect their wealth by purchasing physical assets, as well as the desire to have their wealth allocated to other parts of the world.

The latest property tax initiatives in Hong Kong, including the resulting less viable rental market there, is also a contributing factor that driving Chinese buyer interest in New York.

"I just spent the entire weekend running from place to place, person to person — every single one Chinese," says Lenz.

Having dealt with Asian property investors for the past 20 years, Lenz divulges that the taste of Chinese buyers is similar to New Yorkers who prefer prewar buildings, which are a status symbol. She also advised real estate agents to be on their toes when dealing with Chinese clients, as they are very knowledgeable, intelligent investors who conduct their own research and even data-mining.

Aside from New York, Chinese interest has also honed in on California, Miami, Germany and Scotland.

Read the full story on CNBC.



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