In a recent survey Chinese property platform Juwai.com found Chinese would-be buyers of US real estate rank new homes higher than existing homes.
The survey, conducted by phone and online in March Chinese through the Chinese Consumer Support Centre asked participants to rank how strongly they would consider buying types of property on a scale between one and 10.
The results show the highest average ranking of 7.3 went to “a brand new home offered by a builder” compared to "an existing home” which scored 5.8 and a “custom-built home” which came in at 5.05.
In the same survey, Juwai.com asked Chinese buyers for their priorities when buying a home in the United States. Obtaining a safe neighborhood was the top response, with 82 per cent of the total.
Convenience was second, named by 63 per cent of respondents.
Other popular priorities were proximity to good schools (57 per cent), an established neighborhood (56 per cent) and quality of construction (50 per cent).
The least important factors were the character and uniqueness of the home (12 per cent) and the ability to customize the home (14 per cent).
Juwai.com Head of Americas Matthew Moore says most Chinese actually purchase existing homes, but there is a strong cultural preference for new homes.
"When a new home is also located near good schools or other conveniences, it really has an advantage,” Moore says.
“New home builders have a product that is very appealing to Chinese buyers, whether they are pure investors, or intend to live in the property," he confirms.
"The fact that it is new suggests the home will be of a higher quality and in better condition than an existing home that has been lived in.”
Three quarters of Chinese buyer inquiries in the USA last year were at least partially related to education.
Moore argues builders should therefore emphasize the quality of local schools and proximity to area universities in their marketing.
“With domestic buyers, builders spend a lot of effort emphasizing the quality of the homes they build, but with Chinese buyers they need to do just as much to communicate why the community over all is an attractive place to live.”