How Chinese Investors Play U.S. Property Without Leaving Home

BEIJING (TheStreet) -- Maybe you've heard that rich Chinese investors have been buzzing into the United States to buy Manhattan office buildings and California condos.

In a lesser-known trend, rank-and-file Chinese investors who've never left home are making money on U.S. real estate through government-controlled funds that put money into American real estate investment trusts and developers.

So while U.S. investors play Chinese stocks and prepare for a what could be a record-high initial public offering in New York by e-commerce giant Alibaba, probably this month, Chinese investors are getting a profit kick out of the American property market.

Read More: 10 Stocks George Soros Is Buying

In fact, according to a Thursday report on the Chinese financial data Web site Eastmoney, the U.S. property market is the sole target of five of the six overseas investment funds based in China with the highest yields so far this year.

Topping the list is the Penghua United States Real Estate Fund, which yielded 21.8% between January 1 and September 3. Its leading investment targets include Simon Property Group (SPG) , Host Hotels & Resorts (HST) , and Meritage Homes (MTH) . A marketing pitch on the fund's Web site includes photos of Dallas luxury condos owned by UDR (UDR) , a REIT in which Penghua is an investor.

Second on the high-yield is Lion Fund Global Real Estate, with a year-to-date return of 21.2% thanks to investments in several REITs including Extra Space Storage (EXR) , Simon Property and Host Hotels.

If you liked this article you might like

Stocks Sharply Lower on North Korea Missile Launch Over Japan

Tiny Store America

Simon Property Settles Antitrust Investigation in New York

Zombieland No More -- These New Retailers Are Invading Dying Malls

Apple Has Triggered This Major Phenomenon That Is Preventing Many Malls From Dying