HONG KONG, April 3 United States real estate
information marketplace Zillow Inc plans to partner with a
Beijing-based peer to tap growing interest from Chinese mainland
clients, the second-largest foreign buyers of U.S. homes last
Seattle-based Zillow said in a statement on Thursday it has
signed a deal with Beijing Yisheng Leju Information Services Co
in a deal that will see a co-branded website translated into
Chinese but operated by the U.S. company.
The site will operate from early summer this year, giving
users of Leju, an affiliate of E-House (China) Holdings Ltd
, access to home search data in the U.S.
Chinese retail and institutional investors have increasingly
sought opportunities in overseas property markets as prices
soared in major cities at home. A total of $11.5 billion was
invested in overseas property last year alone, according to real
estate consultancy Savills.
The U.S. was the second-favourite investment destination,
with $2.3 billion in 2013, trailing the $2.6 billion invested in
Britain over the same period, Savills said.
Chinese buyers spent $425,000 on average on a home in the
U.S. as of the end of March 2013, with 69 percent of deals
reported as all-cash purchases, according to Zillow.
Chinese property developers have been aggressively investing
abroad to cater to demand from the country's buyers and to
diversify their assets.
Major companies such as state-backed Greenland Holding,
China Vanke Co Ltd, Guangzhou R&F Properties Co Ltd
and Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd have been
investing in real estate projects in cities from London and New
York to Sydney and Pattaya in Thailand.
Greenland Holding, the parent company of Greenland Hong Kong
Holdings Ltd, said last month it aimed to achieve
overseas sales of 20 billion yuan this year. These include sales
from projects in Britain, the U.S., Canada, Thailand and
($1 = 6.2056 Chinese Yuan)
(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)