Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chinese buy US houses at rapid pace...Is this a bad trend?

Should we be concerned that residents of China are buying houses in the US at an increasing rate? Does it not help absorb surplus housing and help maintain housing prices for everyone, especially in a tough housing market?(Carpe Diem has supporting evidence) How did they get so much surplus cash to buy houses in the US...
""As China’s economy rises, a group of China’s new rich with abundant cash funds appeared in Southern California, mostly businessmen, taking advantage of the housing market downturn bought a lot of foreclosures, short sales or not yet listed houses with cash.""
Well, we all know how one sided trade with the China is,  right?  I don't believe so...Trade is a two-way street--always and each side benefits!...With regards to China, people think it is one-way trip---we buy more stuff from China then they buy from us. We MUST be the loser in this scenario , because the media and the political party OUT of power remind us so with regularity . BUT this is only half the story. China now holds the dollars we used to buy their stuff. What are they going to do with those dollars? To be any good, dollars HAVE to find their way back to the US (directly or indirectly) to be redeemed for US goods/services OR US financial/physical assets...period, end of story! They can (1) buy a US good (John Deere tractor, Dell Computer, etc) or service (IT services, banking services,etc), (2) buy a US financial asset (stock, mutual fund, savings bond, OR GOVERNMENT DEBT...) or physical asset (land, commercial building, factory...) OR a HOUSE! Another incidental aspect to financial assets is China buying bonds/mortgages from the Federal guarantors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that allow Americans to buy houses for relatively low interest rates. Yes, that is right, the Chinese may own part of your home mortgage.  Whether all of this or only some of this is desirable, we have to consider both sides of trade and recognize the flow of money (or financial capital) as it chases goods/service/assets is CIRCULAR  and benefits as well as costs (yes, I recognize the costs) accrue on both sides.  Disagree? Let me know...
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