On behalf of Anthony F. Geraci of Geraci Law Firm posted in Real Estate
Transactions on Sunday, July 12, 2015.
The National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) recently held its
week-long annual conference. It was attended by leading housing economists
and by key industry leaders. Several trends in the
real estate industry were forecast for the 2015 year. Some of the trends directly involve California
real estate interests as a whole, with particular relevance to Orange County.
The current trends include a continuing cluster of Chinese investors that
is pouring money into the country, and into California as a top attraction.
The Chinese money has been spent buying homes and investing in large developments.
Chinese home buyers reportedly spent $28.6 billion on homes in the United
States in the past year, which was double the amount from two years earlier.
One particular immigration program has also given many Chinese citizens
the ability to obtain green cards to reside legally in the United States.
That federal program, called EB-5, allows permanent residency status to
the investor and his family if the investment creates at least 10 jobs
here. That translates into an investment of $500,000 to $1 million. The
Chinese ended up with most of the 10,000 visas given out in 2014.
Although high-rise condominium development has been frozen in Orange County
since the housing crash, there are two projects now under review. It seems
that the condo boom, part of the excesses of prior years, is gearing up
again with rapid development in some areas. This includes Miami and South
Florida, where luxury condos are being purchased by wealthy individuals
from Latin America.
While the real estate industry clearly expands, it has brought increased
investment in the travel industry. Hotel occupancy rates are increasing
steadily, including in California and in Orange County. This trend includes
money being pumped into vacation rental homes. Again, the news seems to
indicate that it may be a propitious time for residents of Orange County
and surrounding areas to make their moves toward home ownership and/or
commercial investments in real estate.
Source: ocregister.com, "7 hot trends in the real estate market: Hotel, condo and vacation rental
booms and more", Jeff Collins, July 3, 2015