Warren Buffett Now Selling US Houses To Chinese Oligarchs

Tyler Durden's picture

While extolling the virtues of American consumers and praising the US economy, Warren Buffett has started seeking the help - and funds - of Chinese oligarchs to sell houses from his real estate brokerage HomeServices. According to Bloomberg's Berkshire's real estate brokerage, HomeServices - currently the second-largest U.S. residential real estate brokerage - acquired as part of Buffett acquisition of an energy business, "is expanding its global reach with a push to attract wealthy Chinese citizens to purchase homes in the U.S", in the process diverting "hot" Chinese money to the US (see Vancouver and Toronto for the outcome).

As Bloomberg reports, HomeServices has been expanding under Buffett by opening new locations, forming a 2012 venture to expand licensing operations and then working to capitalize on demand from non-U.S. buyers. The unit hired Realogy’s Peter Turtzo in 2015 to push into international markets and recruited Mitchell Lewis from Christie’s International Real Estate in September to build operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

As a result, on April 17 Buffett's HomeServices announced an agreement to advertise its U.S. homes on Juwai.com, which attracts about 2 million visitors a month. The portal hosts sites on both sides of China’s “great firewall,” meaning consumers can access the information inside the nation from more than 400 cities and also from more than 160 other countries, according to a statement Monday.

“The Chinese have overtaken all nationalities besides Americans as the leading buyers of property in the U.S.,” Gino Blefari, chief executive officer of Irvine, California-based Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, said in the statement. The Juwai.com accord and other efforts overseas “make it much easier for Chinese real estate buyers to find and shop our property listings.”

It stands to reason that when one runs out of prospective domestic buyers, the next logical step is to approach those who have been engaging in unprecedented money laundering on a global scale in the form of "real estate purchases" which are nothing more than parking funds offshore (and far away from China's banks) while leaving the newly purchased house unoccupied.

HomeServices owns 38 realty companies with more than 29,000 agents, according to Berkshire’s most recent annual report. It also has a network of more than 375 franchisees with over 46,000 agents.

In an amusing twist, Buffett acknowledged in 2013 that when Berkshire bought the energy business in 2000, he “barely noticed HomeServices, which then owned only a few real estate brokerage companies.” Since then, the energy unit’s profit from the operation has climbed, rising 22% last year to $127 million.

Predictably, the billionaire Berkshire Chairman has been eager to capitalize on the Berkshire brand and Buffett name, which are both popular in China. Coca-Cola Co., which counts the billionaire as its top shareholder, recently announced a plan for his face to appear on cans of Cherry Coke in the country.

Kerry Donovan, vice president of marketing for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, is counting on new sales from listings and banner ads on Juwai.com. “This is a huge differentiator for us,” Donovan said in the statement.

It was not immediately clear if and how Berkshire assures that the funds used by wealthy Chinese buyers are not of the "hot money" variety, meant to be parked away from China's perilous financial system and in the process raising prevailing prices to nosebleed levels in any given MSA, as has been the case in recent years with both the Vancouver and, more recently, Toronto housing markets. As a reminder, the US National Association of Realtors remains exempt from Anti Money-Laundering provisions, quite happy to take the money of any and every global buyer, regardless of where the funding came from.

It was also not clear if inviting Chinese capital to compete with far more humble domestic sources of funds is what the US economy needs at this moment, at a time when even the NAR admits the average home is becoming increasingly unaffordable for the typical American.

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BennyBoy's picture

 

Time to once again prop up the US housing market with hot money.

This always ends in good times for every one!

PT's picture

Perhaps if the manufacturing had have stayed in the US then Buffet could have sold houses to rich US people instead.

Ghost of Porky's picture

The Whoreacle of Omaha has spoken.

Liberal's picture

Whoreacle of Obama? THAT'S RACIST!!!

oh...omaha........?

WELL, THAT'S RACIST!

JRobby's picture

Warren did not have knowledge of this!

he will fire all involved and have the procedure manuals re-written!

Okienomics's picture

In our North Texas neighborhood, Mr. Okie signs off on every house sale (HOA resale certificates).  Almost every sale going through is to a chinese buyer, and NONE of them live in the home, nor do they speak english.  Making America glate again.

Twee Surgeon's picture

If you think about it, the whole approach makes a lot of sense as a form of Warfare. How much does a Tank or Ship or Fighter or Bomber cost ?

You simply turn your Fictional Chairman Mao Coupons (Remnimbi) into Digital and Invisible Federal Reserve Coupons and Go over and Buy America up while no one is looking.

None of that Tedious Resistance and a Rifle behind every blade of grass.

"You can have as many Federal Reserve notes as you like' Mr Wang, Buy American, Ha Ha !" (Chinese Bank joke.)

Sun Tzu would approve. "Stupid Americans! All we have to do is punch some numbers in to Chinese government Treasury computer and convert to US Dollar, write check any size you like, first we buy San Jose, Arcadia, Orange County...."

No Aircraft Carriers or Battle Fleets and all those spendy bombs. Smile a lot and wear shorts and Hawaiian shirts. Drive Ferrari and wear Frip-Frops !

Ask not for whom the ghost cities were built, they were built for you.

 

Melville1977's picture

Your so right. Jim Willie and Gerald Celente have been warning about this for several yrs. Only deal usgov stopped was the GE deal. Chinese own legendary pictures, amc theater chain, the Waldorf Astoria hotel, and Smithfield pork. Willie dubbed them commercial colonists, Celente write about the global chinatowns trend

sgt_doom's picture

Yo!  This stuff has been going on for ages now --- and is a principal cost driver in major cities throughout the country.

In Seattle, since about 5 or 6 years back, 50% of the houses over $500,000 are purchased by mainland Chinese!

Stuck on Zero's picture

We sent the mercantilists all of our jobs and money and now they're coming back and buying all of our assets.

doomchild's picture

Money money money. mint more money. pay some bribes. mint some more money. pay some more bribes. keep on minting money, till the day I die.

-Warren "the parasite" Buffet's theme song

Bunga Bunga's picture

Many of the houses were scooped up for cheap, when no one could get a loan, now they sell with a decent profit (and those are not fancy homes of the rich, just check the listings, many are average family homes http://www.juwai.com/USproperty/r-126_c-11358/ ). 

 

Sorry, American families, you have to rent from your Chinese oligarch landlords, who got rich by central bank money printing. Wealth would trickle down, no, it didn't, you got fooled again!

doomchild's picture

just browsed through this juwai.com website. If felt like the entire fucking state of California has been put up for sale to be bought out by the ChiComs. 

ParkAveFlasher's picture

It won't be American families that move in, unless by "American families" you mean "Muslim transplants".

doomchild's picture

Buying these so-called "investment properties" seems to be all the rage these days. Buy property, collect rent, profit!! seems to be the mantra. Make "other people" pay for your mortgage, the bankers and real estate agents keep parroting. Let's see how long this investment property fad continues when this correction happens - http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-14/record-high-multi-family-constr...

Laddie's picture

A life centered around money is a hollow one–and a nation centered around money isn’t really a nation.

Back in the 1980s US home builders/sales people, held HOUSE FAIRS in South America. All of the home BUYERS wanted houses that were WAY BACK from the roads, Latinos KNOW what can happen, and the US builders HAD done that.
So this is nothing new, our birthright has been stolen from us and sold to the invaders.

And, truly, it all begins with this, then the traitors of our own kind do the rest...
Professor Kevin MacDonald’s ‘The Culture of Critique’ Reviewed

SomethingSomethingDarkSide's picture

Buffett is just as bad as the Rothschilds..

Swing him from a lamp post!

Ruteger's picture

Why are non-citizens allowed to purchase residential property? Those homes should go to US citizens only!

doomchild's picture

can US citizens afford this shit at the price that Uncle Warren is offering? 

PT's picture

Well perhaps Uncle Warren should have lowered his expectations.

The time delay between cause and effect has created many miseries.

oddjob's picture

No, but he can offer them Diabetes.

land_of_the_few's picture

Isn't it racist selling extremely unstable overinflated investments especially targeted at foreigners? Isn't that some kind of act of war? :P

InflammatoryResponse's picture

don't be a goof.

 

you go down to your local pol and suggest that unoccupied properties have a special "assessment" annually.  Duh.  raise the taxes on the people that don't vote.

 

ever go to florida?  see the laundry list of taxes you pay for a rental?  presto visitors can't vote. :)

 

nachochan's picture

Again who was it that down voted me earlier for saying the US was a Chinese vassel state?

Xena fobe's picture

You are on to something Nachochan. You would have to live on the west coast to see it.  Our original parasites already picked the choicest parts off the host.   Now they're throwing the bones away. Perhaps by setting us up for a WW3 loss. 

I am Jobe's picture

Buffet wants Americans to live in trailers. Has anyone been to Nebraska. Pathetic place. Most of them are whores and obese . 

Houses Depreciate's picture

Can't be any worse than here in CA where guys attempt to pull the balls out of your pants when you're walking down the street.

land_of_the_few's picture

They're just being friendly, right? Or us it some kind of far-out new gangsta style dress code after backwards hanging-off baggy jeans?

yogibear's picture

Buffet and Munger like the Duke brothers in trading places. They would sell their own mom for a buck.

mily's picture

Looking forward to WB7 meme 

Rich Monk's picture

I got a nice 1997 Ford Aerostar panel van, can sleep 4. is mobile. Perfect for the poor, rich Chinese family as a travel home away from home. I will let it go for a measly $25,000.00, all cash or perhaps some PMs? Contact my agent, Morty Ripuoff.

Aubiekong's picture

foreigners should not be allowed to own us property...

bluskyes's picture

Corporations should not be allowed to own real-estate.

Their charters should also have expirey dates, and dissolution terms.

Xena fobe's picture

Yes, absolutely right. 

random999's picture

why not, usa is even charging them tax for it.

if there are to few houses easen up restrictions on building new.

no land to build on? restrict the amount of sqm every person can own.

 

Xena fobe's picture

Because everyone should live in filthy inner city high rises and take filthy public transportation to accommodate more Chinese colonists? 

 

magnetosphere's picture

haha what a fock! warren buffet isn't aware of the total lockdown on chinese capital flight?

Grumbleduke's picture

poor Warren, fell out of favour with satan. Has to flip houses now.

stewmint's picture

So all those dollars we send to China for manufacturing are now coming back into the US. Awesome.

 

USA A-OK

Vilfredo Pareto's picture

In addition to houses we should also sell them citizenship at one million per person or 1.5 million for a three person family.

 

All your Chinese profits are belong to us.

Xena fobe's picture

Profits from Chinese RE investments stay in Chinese hands.  And are used to buy more US investment real estate.  They need to get a foothold in every US town to establish new colonies.

spastic_colon's picture

"It was not immediately clear if and how Berkshire assures that the funds used by wealthy Chinese buyers are not of the "hot money" variety, meant to be parked away from China's perilous financial system .............."

 

its called lobby congress with $$$ to keep US real estate off of the ant-money laundering list

VWAndy's picture

 I wonder how much they got for the Whitehouse?

chosen's picture

Warren Buffet was always a piece of shit.  He doesn't give a crap about Americans, as long as he can make a buck.  How much fucking money does this asshole need?  I suggest we boycott all his companies.

Xena fobe's picture

Just don't sell to them.  Sellers get offers from well qualified US buyers but pick the cash offers from Chinese.  Fucking traitors selling their descendants into slavery.

barysenter's picture

If La Raza had a clue how many chinese illegals there are they'd be worried. HA HA

Consuelo's picture

 

 

In common-sense working man's parlance, what folksy 'ole Warren is doing here, is called:

 

Whoring out to the highest bidder/s.  

Wahooo's picture

I doubt if Buffet had a hand in this decision to market to the Chinese. Any realtor worth a damn would have made that decision. Not that there's anything right about Buffet.

Consuelo's picture

 

 

I'd beg to differ.   If Warren does anything well, it is spotting a $$$Trend.