A reader sent in this interesting article at Bloomberg:
Asian Buyers Buoy New-Home Demand in California’s Orange
By Nadja Brandt – Mar 13, 2012
Connie Wang paid about $960,000 last June for a new four-bedroom, four-bath house in a sprawling swath of Southern California that’s home to Disneyland and Pimco. Now she may buy a second as an investment.
“You know why Orange County is doing better?” said Wang, a native of Taiwan who splits her time between Shenzhen in southern China, where she oversees a toy-manufacturing business, and Irvine, California, where she raised her three children. “It’s because all my neighbors are from China and Taiwan, and they all bought their homes in cash.”
To accommodate the increase in demand from Asian buyers, closely held New Home is building dedicated wok kitchens at some homes at another of its developments, Lambert Ranch, in Irvine. The small room is adjacent to the standard kitchen, and has a stove and high-powered vent. Most of the properties also have separate living quarters for extended family, according to Marcus-Colvin.
“After our last focus group, we really wanted to accommodate these changing demands,” she said. “A lot of our Asian buyers have asked for these features and the feedback from those we’ve shown the new properties to has been, ‘You really listened to us.’”
Standard Pacific Corp. (SPF), based in Irvine, has begun to cater to culturally specific preferences, including building wok kitchens and incorporating feng shui and numerology rules, such as leaving out unlucky numbers from street addresses, according to Ted McKibbin, president of the builder’s Southern California coastal division.
Under the Chinese system of feng shui, buildings are oriented in a favorable manner, often determined by the location of bodies of water, stars or compass directions.
“Good feng shui falls under good design principals, the way a cook top and sink are lined up with each other,” McKibbin said. “But with some buyers there’s more focus on that. That’s when things like numerology come into place, which can place challenges in regards to addressing a home and avoiding certain numbers. We do pay attention to that.”
Definitely read the full article at Bloomberg.
I don't think prices are 15-20% above their post peak low of Jan 2009 as the article states. This topic has been discussed plenty on the blog and Talk Irvine. Any thoughts on the article and/or topic? Discuss below or at Talk Irvine.