Much seems to be being made of a recent Financial Times headline that suggests that Chinese investors are about to bailout the West Coast Luxury market. Luxury Clues took this as a sign that “certain parts of the national luxury market are in recovery. Investors from China, concerned about the instability of their own market, are looking to park funds in West Coast luxury properties. The new wealth from other places in the world considers a U.S. luxury property to be one of the world’s ultimate status symbols.”
The actual headline and lead-in was this:
Chinese property hunters to raid US
By Geoff Dyer in Beijing
Published: December 5 2008 20:10 | Last updated: December 5 2008 20:10
SouFun, the biggest real estate website in China, is organising a trip next month to look at properties in California and possibly Nevada. Liu Jian, the company’s chief operating officer, said about 300 people had expressed interest in the idea in the three days since it was advertised, though the company would take only a small group on the first trip. Chinese bargain hunters are preparing to descend on American cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, where homeowners have suffered some of the steepest price falls in the US.
Which rather shows how desperate people are getting to be able to write a positive headline. This headline and short piece of copy has been reproduced all over the internet. A google search for the text brings up no less than 2,570 websites that have reproduced it word for word. Top of the list is the Huffington Post. One would think the Huffington Post could afford to pay a few copywriters….
300 Chinese government officials looking for a bolt hole when their own economy collapses heading over to pick up a few bargains is not exactly the recovery I was hoping for. China has it’s own set of financial issues, and my feeling is that they will take one look at that $20 million mansion, and offer you $3 million, take it or leave it. Unless they are coming for the light traffic. It is a well known fact that the traffic in LA is nothing to Beijing.
Still, perhaps it is time to start brushing up on the Chinese language courses. Maybe it is easier to learn than Russian…….