Chinese Developers Eyeing The Bay Area

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March 15, 2016

Not too long ago, Chinese buyers overtook Canadian buyers as the dominant foreign buyers in the U.S. Now, they aren’t just interested in purchasing homes, but in developing them. And one of the most popular areas for Chinese development to take place is the San Francisco Bay Area. Only New York and its boroughs attracted more Chinese development dollars between 2013 and 2015, according to sfgate.com.

A big reason for the uptick in Chinese development is because these developers are attempting to diversify away from China’s overbuilt market. The also want to serve the Chinese buyers living in the Bay Area.

One of the newest development projects slated for the Bay Area comes from Landsea Holdings, which is the U.S. subsidiary of one of China’s largest homebuilders. Landsea Holdings paid $186 million to secure a 24-acre site in Sunnyvale, Calif., that is set to have 450 townhomes. Landsea estimates that up to 30 percent of these townhomes will be purchased by people from China.

The site was purchased from Watt Companies, a real estate developer that purchased the site for $60 million two years ago. The developer planned on building three townhome villages, two of which they themselves would have constructed, before Landsea made an offer for the entire project that was too good to pass up.

The Sunnyvale project is the largest U.S. development for Landsea and is its seventh overall. Its parent company focuses on construction in Shanghai, Nanjing, and other Yangtze River Delta cities but decided to diversify outside China back in 2012.

Landsea typically recruits its U.S. employees locally, which is rare for most Chinese developers.

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