The Rise of Minority Buying Power

Living in Irvine, and working in the Southern California Homebuilding Industry, the shift in minority buying power is becoming increasingly more evident. The Asian/Asian-American population is growing faster than the total population, and these buyers tend to be young, well educated and therefore hold many top-level and high paying jobs. According to the Selig Center Report*, over the next five years, Asian buying power is expected to grow 42 percent, from $544 billion in 2010 to $775 billion in 2015. Advertisers, homebuilders and companies are recognizing the purchasing power of this Asian American community. But it’s important to note that if these companies want their dollars, they also need to earn their respect. Being aware of cultural differences, number superstitions (avoidance of the number 4) and showing respect and patience with a generally slow decision making buyer are all important items to consider when dealing with this demographic.

When purchasing a home, some other items that are important to the Asian culture include:

  • Reputation of builder
  • School district
  • Feng Shui
  • Functional floorplans for extended families (ie full bed/bath downstairs)
  • Reasonable HOA and taxes
  • Ability to negotiate

Although it can be said that these items are important to all buyers, our real-estate market is really starting to take note. Local builders are beginning to install wok kitchens, following feng shui principles and putting lucky numbers on choice units, others are looking into government programs designed to encourage foreign investment. Whatever the case with an influx of money flowing into the United States from China, some savvy companies are coming up with creative ways to better position themselves with this emerging minority.

For a full report, visit the Selig Center website: http://www.terry.uga.edu/selig/

Michele Linaweaver, Vice President