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Chinese romantic comedy may be contributing to Seattle’s real estate boom

Tech workers in various cities seem to have more expensive tastes when it comes to real estate. Zillow has noticed that this trend shows that tech employees are paying more in property taxes than their neighbors. (AP)

It’s not just large tech companies that are causing the Seattle real estate market to heat up.

Chinese film making might be a factor as well.

“Beijing Meets Seattle,” a 2013 romantic-comedy, may be contributing to an increased interest in the Emerald City.

The film showcases the overseas lifestyle in what owner and CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty Dean Jones describes as the “Chinese version of the American dream.”

It’s a lifestyle that, until more recently, was a well-kept secret, Jones told KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross.

The film’s popularity is an example of the growing interest in West Coast living.

“We’ve become a global market and we are learning demand knows no borders,” Jones said.

But the film isn’t the only reason for a growing interest in Seattle. One of the most important factors in people making the move over is great schools, Jones pointed out. More than 50 percent of the foreign born students in the freshman class at the University of Washington are from China, he added.

Interest in the West Coast of the United States and Canada, however, isn’t new. The phenomenon has been going on in San Francisco and Vancouver B.C. for years. The real estate boom in Vancouver, for example, is making it difficult for college graduates to secure a job and own a home, Jones said.

“Real estate values are no longer associated with job and population growth, but global preference,” he said.

So what does this all mean for Seattleites?

It’s important for people living in the Pacific Northwest to understand Seattle’s position on a global stage, Jones said. And for those considering buying a home, they might want to do it sooner rather than later.

“If you had wished you had bought a home in San Francisco ten years ago, buy a home in Seattle today,” Jones said.

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