Robbie Briggs is in Hong Kong, where he recently attended a Sotheby’s real estate auction and has the latest on what real estate the world is buying, here in Dallas, and globally. Recall that Robbie and his family know the Far East as well as they know Lovers Lane because they lived in Beijing, China for almost three years. He even has two grandchildren there. Robbie was one of the few real estate execs in Dallas who foresaw global when the rest of us were scratching our heads over growth in Fairview and Allen, Tx. Briggs Freeman is now part of Sotheby’s International, and I emailed him for the scoop:
CD: Are people in Hong Kong and China really buying US real estate?
RB: Yes, they are!
CD: Where else are they shopping (who’s our competition)?
RB: London, France, Canada and Thailand, to name a few.
CD: What are they saying about us — dying to know!
RB: They still still love the US.
CD: Do they think the entire U.S. is on a fire sale?
RB: I don’t think so, however our prices do seem reasonable compared to what they see in Shanghai, Beijing or Hong Kong.
CD: I’ll bet. I recall a friend leasing an apartment in Tokyo for $50,000 a month ten years ago! Are they really buying Texas ranches?
RB: They have a fascination with ranches. I have talked to several Chinese that are enamored with land and improvements. It’s something they just can’t have elsewhere.
CD: I met a lot of people from Hong Kong at Pebble Beach Concours and they all marvel at how large our homes in Texas are — are you hearing that?
RB: Oh yes, square footage and land.
CD: What do they like about Texas real estate in particular?
RB: Space, quality of construction and the land.
CD: Is there anything we can learn from Hong Kong real estate?
RB: We are a global market.
CD: By the way, how is their market?
RB: Hong Kong is not as crazy as it once was, but if the success of the Sotheby’s auction is any indication of their interest in spending, then we will continue to see the Chinese in our markets.