Government paper gives China tips on buying U.S. property

Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:22pm EDT
 
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BEIJING (Reuters) - Hunting for a property bargain? Worried that prices in China are too high? Have you thought about the United States instead? Let me help.

It sounds like a real estate agent's pitch. But Chinese real estate investors curious about America needed to look no further on Friday than the Ministry of Commerce's own newspaper.

The International Business Daily published a series of reports over two pages on whether it's the right time to buy U.S. property and offering tips on which cities to explore.

"Five years ago, Chinese Americans came to China to buy homes; but now the situation has been reversed," the newspaper said.

The U.S. National Association of Realtors said China was the fourth-biggest source of international home buyers in the United States, following Canada, Mexico and Britain, in the year ending March 31.

Whereas home prices in many U.S. cities have stagnated or fallen due to the financial crisis, the cost of buying a flat in major Chinese cities has reached stratospheric levels.

"San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Washington have the highest house prices in the United States. But even regardless of income differences, prices in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen are almost on a par with these U.S. metropolises," the paper said.

(Reporting by Zhou Xin; Editing by Alan Wheatley)