Siqiao Ning and his wife Karen are described as entrepreneurs based in China, but they apparently spend lots of time time abroad. The 36,000-square-foot house sits on two acres and overlooks Sunset Boulevard, the WSJ reports. The couple certainly got a deal - the property, which was built by developer Fred Wehba, came on the market two years ago at $68.5 million. Chinese purchases of pricey Southern California real estate have become more commonplace in the last few years (especially since the recession). The Chinese are now the second-largest foreign buyers of homes, behind Canadians. From USA Today:
Chinese interest in U.S. real estate began climbing during the U.S. housing meltdown, when plunging property prices made the U.S. a magnet for global buyers. Today, interest is growing as a rising yuan -- up more than 8% since mid-2010 -- gives the Chinese greater purchasing power, and the mainland's restrictions on property purchases encourages them to look overseas. With U.S. single-family home prices a third lower since 2006, the U.S. also compares favorably with other top markets for Chinese investment, such as the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. "For China, the world is an emerging opportunity," says Andrew Taylor, founder of Juwai.com, a real estate site based in Hong Kong that was launched in 2011 to match Chinese buyers with U.S. real estate. "We're talking about a huge chunk of people with cash and the desire" to invest overseas.
In the affluent Southern California city of San Marino-- where the median price of a home sold in January was $1.6 million, according to MDA DataQuick -- Chinese buyers are looking for high-end homes in good school districts and neighborhoods likely to see stable home values, says Linda Chang of Coldwell Banker. One of her recent mainland Chinese buyers paid $5 million for a 5,000-square-foot home in Pasadena that the family expects to occupy for one month a year, she says. "They treat it like a hotel without room service," says Chang, who estimates that a quarter of shoppers in the $3 million-plus market in her area are from mainland China. Mainland Chinese also account for a third of the buyers at luxury home builder Toll Bros.' new home development, The Heritage in Vista Del Verde in Yorba Linda, Calif., southeast of downtown Los Angeles.