World

How Ron DeSantis' ban on Chinese homeownership has impacted buyers and real estate agents

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Three months after Florida banned many Chinese citizens from owning property, some real estate agents say they are losing business as families across the state are walking away from deals.


Longtime Florida resident Kristen Zhang was thrilled when last year her parents in China decided to buy a new house nearby, built from the ground up, in Orlando. After being separated during the pandemic, they’d finally be able to spend time with their grandkids.


But in May Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bipartisan law, SB 264, banning certain Chinese nationals from buying property in the state to counter “the malign influence of the Chinese Communist Party in the state of Florida.”


Zhang’s parents had to abandon their plans this summer, finally canceling the contract last month. Fortunately, the project was still at an early-enough stage to secure a refund on their deposit from the developer, but Zhang said the decision was wrenching.