Chinese Tops in USA Real Estate 4th Year in a Row

An online auction of multi-million-dollar properties around the world — including one on Lake Winnipesaukee — is targeting wealthy Chinese real estate buyers.

The Chinese have been the biggest foreign buyers of American real estate in recent years, and Concierge Auctions sent people to China to market the dozen-plus properties.

In a news release, Conciege Auctions stated that it is specifically targeting high-net worth affluent Chinese real estate buyers worldwide as part of a high-impact global outreach campaign.

But anyone can bid, as long as the they put down a $100,000 deposit first.

Offerings include a lakefront compound in Meredith that features two homes — a main house of 8,000-square-feet and a guest house of 5,300-square-feet — on six-plus acres. It most recently was listed for just under $7 million.

Wolfeboro Realtor Adam Dow said the online auction by Concierge Auctions will “introduce our market to those who have money who aren’t in Boston and driving up for the weekend.”

The property, at 97 and 99 Pinnacle Park Road on the east shore of Meredith Bay, has been on the market for about a year and carries the 10th highest price tag for property for sale in New Hampshire, according to figures found in the New England Real Estate Network, the statewide multiple listing service.

The online auction will run from June 26 to June 29 and feature no reserve price. People can follow the auction’s progress on conciergeauctions.com.

“Our goal is to get as much as the market is willing to pay for it,” Leslie Rose, project sales manager at Concierge Auctions, said in a phone interview Thursday.

Hundreds of people have reviewed documents for the property online.

“I’m confident that we will reach our targeted goal of selling to the highest bidder come June 29 at fair market value,” Rose said.

If the Meredith property is purchased by a Chinese buyer, it wouldn’t be the first Chinese ownership along the lake.

In 2016, a Wolfeboro waterfront estate was on the market for nearly $4.7 million. It was once owned by the late Madame Chiang Kai-shek, wife of Chinese military and political leader Chiang Kai-shek.

Lucrative market

A study by the National Association of Realtors reported a surge in foreign buyers for the year ending March 2017.

“Chinese buyers spent the most on American real estate for the fourth year in a row,” according to a story on Realtor (.com). “They dropped a whopping $31.7 billion, up 16.1 (percent) from the previous year. They also bought the most housing units, at 40,572, a nearly 39 (percent) year-over-year rise.”

The auction company’s website states: “The Chinese government has loosened capital restrictions, causing the country’s wealthy individuals and companies to move more money overseas. They are looking for better returns elsewhere around the globe.”

According to Rose, “We have a substantial uptick in Chinese buyers participating in our auctions.”

Travis Cole, president of the Lakes Region Board of Realtors in Laconia, said the region attracts widespread interest in homes that often run into the millions of dollars for lakefront property.

“The Lakes Region has such high-end properties they often compete with properties around the world,” Cole said. “It’s not unusual for someone to own a house in England, a house in Asia and a house on Lake Winnipesaukee.”

The Meredith property owners are listed as Robert and Cynthia Troop, according to town records.

“The owners like the idea of the auction process because they’re building a house in Meredith,” said Dow, who works for Keller Williams Lakes and Mountains Realty.

“They’re also confident in the auction process and also the allure of a Chinese buyer and really opening up New England to a broad sense of people.”

High-end real estate sometimes takes years to sell.

In Alton, former Loudon speedway owner Bob Bahre and his wife, Sandy, put their Longview estate at 144 Hopewell Road on the market in early 2014 for $25 million. Their son, Gary, listed his mansion next door for $24 million.

The two properties are on the market today for $9.9 million each.

The state’s priciest property is located at 144 Springfield Point Road in Wolfeboro, listed $10.89 million. In March 2017, that property was offered at $11.9 million.

Source: MICHAEL COUSINEAU
New Hampshire Union Leader