Scott and Erica Rothenberg thought the years of scrimping and saving had finally paid off.

The three-bedroom house outside of Elk Grove—an upper-middle-class suburb of Sacramento—checked all of the boxes: quiet neighborhood, quality school district, ample space to start a family.

But the couple knew competition for the house—like most houses in desirable California neighborhoods—would be cut-throat. Their agent warned they’d be bidding against not only a glut of young Sacramento-area families vying for a starter home, but also wealthier Bay Area residents fleeing astronomical prices. Even wealthy foreign investors from China, sensing an opportunity to park their cash and make steady returns, were getting in on the action. Read more…

According to data from ATTOM Data Solutions, Manhattan Beach cash sales from 2005 to 2017 amounted to 21% of the homes sales.