Seattle-based Zillow, a popular online-based real estate database that has nearly 70 million visitors every month, has entered into a partnership with Chinese real estate website, Leju. This agreement, which is the first non-U.S. deal for Zillow, will lead to the development of a co-branded website operated by Zillow and translated into Chinese. Errol Samuelson, Zillow’s Chief Industry Development Officer, noted that “Brokers and agents with listings on Zillow are now able to reach Chinese home shoppers who are ready to invest in the U.S. market…”
This deal clearly underscores the recent phenomena of wealthy Chinese coming to the U.S. and to Greater Seattle to buy homes. According to Reuters, the US is the 2nd favorite destination for the Chinese (after Great Britain) and they spend on average $425,000 per home. Seattle, particularly the Eastlake area, is a popular destination – thanks in part to a recent Chinese romantic comedy movie called “Beijing Meets Seattle”. Set in Seattle, the movie has become so popular in China it is one of the country’s highest-grossing films of all-time.
We can expect even more Chinese to come to Seattle following Canada’s sudden cancellation of its immigration investment program, which allowed foreigners to establish residency if they invested in Canada. More than 60,000 applications were refunded. Meanwhile, the U.S.’s counterpart program, EB-5, continues to grow in popularity.