RTURLEY-white copyColdwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the leading provider of real estate services in the Bay Area, announced today that its president, Rick Turley, is traveling to China this week to speak to Chinese investors interested in buying real estate and investing in the U.S.

Rick will address two forums for high net worth investors in Shanghai and Hangzhou in eastern China. He will discuss the status of the U.S. housing market and focus on key regions of interest to foreign investors, including San Francisco and Silicon Valley. He’ll also provide market updates for Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, New York, and Boston.

The speaking tour is part of a new effort by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and partner companies to assist affluent Asian investors who want to invest in U.S. cities, purchase homes, create jobs and possibly emigrate to the U.S.

“Coldwell Banker is uniquely qualified to help Chinese residents who have a strong interest in investing in the U.S. and buying real estate here,” Rick said. “As the world’s largest real estate services company, we’re well positioned in all of major markets the Asian buyers are attracted to and have an extensive network of agents to work with buyers – not only in these U.S. cities but in China as well.”

Rick said the Chinese investors have expressed a strong interest in both coasts of the U.S., as well as Chicago and also Dallas. But he noted that San Francisco and the Silicon Valley area are especially on the radar of Chinese investors.

He said the potential homebuyers are attracted by the strength of the local housing markets, the relative affordability of homes in the U.S. when compared to many Chinese markets, and home price appreciation potential. But he added that they’re also interested in the quality of life in the U.S. as well as quality schools and higher education opportunities here.

Rick will tell investors that while the U.S. housing market in general did indeed suffer a recessionary downturn from its peak in 2006, both prices and sales have rebounded quite well over the past two years in much of the United States. He’ll also stress that Chinese investors would be well served to get into the market while prices still represent attractive values.

Just recently, the National Association of Realtors reported that October home sales in the U.S. were 11% higher than a year ago.  This marked the seventh straight month that the nation’s housing market saw improvement year-over-year, the first time that’s happened since November 2005-May 2006.

Median home prices in the U.S. also rose 11.3% from a year ago. And in some of our markets, prices and sales have even been stronger than that.

“One thing I intend to explain about the U.S. housing market is that it’s a very local business and prices and the strength of the market really varies tremendously from state to state and city to city,” Rick said. “While some cities in the U.S. suffered extremely sharp downturns in prices and sales – Las Vegas, San Diego and some areas in Florida for example – other areas were not really impacted as much. San Francisco and Silicon Valley, for example, never saw prices drop as sharply as most of the nation.”

Additionally, he said, both regions have rebounded sharply in sales and prices with the biggest challenge being not enough homes for sale to meet buyer demand. “That paradox from just a few years ago had led to homes receiving multiple offers – some as many as a dozen or two – and often selling for more than the asking price,” Rick noted.