Chinese buyers are deserting the Seattle property market
September 11, 2018 - Seattle
With the yuan’s devaluation could come an exodus of Chinese buyers from one of their favourite US housing markets yet.
Chinese buyers in Seattle have typically been looking for residential properties in the range of USD1 million to USD3 million, a leading analyst told CNBC. However, their weakened purchasing power may have undermined their hunt for homes.
Chinese buying is “drying up,” said Stephen Saunders, managing broker with Coldwell Banker Seattle. "I just don't see the same kind of volume. The downtown Seattle condo market has come to a grinding halt, and that's where Chinese buyers were."
Home prices have skyrocketed 45% since August 2016, according to Jonathan Woloshin of UBS. These translate to a hike of 54%, on a currency-adjusted basis, for Chinese buyers.
The yuan has depreciated to its weakest levels against the US dollar since May 2017.
"The Chinese have a very long time horizon, so if they are buying that home as a second or third home or they're going to buy it for their child, that's fair, but the huge run-up in prices, the depreciation in the yuan is going to have an impact," Woloshin told CNBC.
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