Asia Society
Bechtel Conference Center
500 Washington St.
San Francisco

Bargain prices in the U.S. coupled with political and economic uncertainties at home are driving record Chinese investments in U.S. and California real estate. Chinese commercial real estate purchases in the U.S. totaled nearly $2 billion in the year to March 2012, much in California. The state will see record investments in 2013. This spring alone, deals were signed for a $620 million luxury condo development in San Francisco by China Vanke and Tishman Speyer, and a $1.5 billion mixed-use development in Oakland by China-based Zarsion and Signature Development Group.

Chinese residential purchases in the U.S. are even greater in value. According to survey data, they exceeded $9 billion in the year to March 2012, making them the second largest group of foreign buyers behind Canadians. Not surprisingly, California’s large Chinese and Chinese-American communities, top-flight higher education, and attractive lifestyles make the state the number one destination. For businesses, the state offers a highly educated and experienced work force, the largest economy of any state, and strong ties to China and the international economy.

Is this investment surge the start of a longer-term trend? How much is it contributing to real estate’s rebound in Los Angeles and the Bay Area? Is the boom leading to new American interest in feng shui design, lucky numbers, and kitchens with built-in woks to woo Chinese clients? What are the chances of an American backlash, as Japanese investors found after high-profile purchases of Pebble Beach, Rockefeller Center, and other “trophy investments”?

Mayer Brown partner Leonard Rosenberg will speak at the conference.

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