Following a Chinese couple's purchase last month of that crazy Sunset Boulevard megamansion, the Wall Street Journal looks at the ever-growing Chinese interest in the American real estate market. In Los Angeles, Asians seem very interested in the Ritz-Carlton Residences in South Park--"half of recent buyers for the new Ritz-Carlton Residences, which AEG developed, hail from Asia," according to the paper. (That must mean they're edging out AEG execs.) Perhaps that's because the brokers invite potential Chinese buyers to stay free for two nights at the adjoining hotel, and end their stay with a champagne toast (they do have to pay their own airfare). So who's buying? There's 23 year old USC student Di Meng, who paid $800,000 for his condo because he was "not keen to rent student housing." Then there's Singaporean businessman Steve Loh, who recently bought SIX condos in the building "for about $1 million each." And blind item time: he's "also facilitating a $60 million transaction with several overseas investors to buy more than 50 condos in another Los Angeles development." Loh says "He isn't worried about Americans—he thinks it will be other Asian-based buyers and businesses who drive up prices, so he is courting them now to invest in the deals he's striking."
· Courting the Chinese Buyer [WSJ]
· AEG Execs, Mary Hart Among 32 Buyers at the Ritz-Carlton [Curbed LA]