Trend: Buy a college condo when child's in diapers

Chinese buyers increasingly purchase upscale residences in college towns worldwide to meet university residency requirements, give their children an alternative to living in dorms, and even earn enough money to cover the costs of tuition.

“Parents might buy several apartments, one for their child to study in and one to bring in an investment return,” says Andrew Taylor, co-CEO of the Shanghai-based real estate portal Juwai.com. Some buyers snap up units while their children are still babies in the hope that they’ll attend college in the area one day, renting them out in the meantime.

With real estate prices soaring in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai, million-dollar properties in the United States are a relative bargain.

“Even if their kids don’t end up coming (to the U.S. for college), they’re more likely to make a profit on renting or resale,” says William Montero, an agent at Boston-based Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty.

Source: Wall Street Journal (04/10/14) Abkowitz, Alyssa

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