San Diego Housing Market News and Analysis
Back from vacation. As an American, i feel poor.
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Submitted by Coronita on October 30, 2007 - 11:04pm
Well, I'm back from my trip from China. The good news is that my house didn't burn down while I was away. Also, apparently despite how terrible the air quality usually is in Beijing, it felt better than the few days here in S.D. I hope everyone here is recovering from the fires, and that everyone is ok...
That said. Something that really struck me when i was in China this time around... I really feel poor. In the past when I went, I felt the good old Greenback went along way. It still does. But major cities in china has changed. A couple of things that stood out while in Beijing
1) Real estate in Beijing was nearly as expensive as real estate in san diego.
2) Cars in Beijing are much more expensive than here in the states, minus a few exceptions
3) Designer/high end clothes and retail is more expensive than what you would find in places like South Coast Plaza.
4) It appears that the "average" joe chinese that many of us think is dirt poor from stereotypes isn't necessarily true anymore. On the streets, roads, tourist areas, boutique shops, I saw plenty of consumption. And it's not the charge now pay later type of consumption, because CC's aren't quite that popular yet. I really can't explain this, but compared to my trip a few years ago, it sees like overnight average joe became wealthier.
5) As the dollar continues to decline, a lot of these upper average joe's in china will have a better cost of living than average joe here.
All this really got my wife and I thinking
a)Man, we really feel poor, relatively speaking. We pay up the noses in taxes. Average upper middle class in china pays very little taxes.
b)It would be foolish for the U.S. government to not relax the tourist visa requirements for China. These folks easily spend on tourism. Paying $3-4k USD to europe and other parts of the world where there is no restrictions is not uncommon.
c) There's got to be a way to tap in to the consumer market in china.
d) The's got to be a way to bridge the U.S real estate to mainland chinese investors. As the dollar continues to decline and the average chinese purchasing power rises, I'm convinced there will be interest from folks purchasing homes here, as I have seen similar trends back in the 90'ies with folks from Taiwan and Korea. Although I doubt the numbers will be significant to save any real estate market, it smells there some opportunity to be made here.
If you haven't yet visited Beijing, I would actually recommend going now. Especially that right now, the locals treat foreigners much nicer than folks that look chinese. My only regret is that when I was a child, I didn't take learning my second language more seriously.
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