Irvine is one of the hottest real estate markets in the nation, thanks, in no small part, to its appeal to Asian homebuyers attracted to the planned community’s wide boulevards, open space and whirl of new construction.
The last ten years has seen a boom in Irvine’s Asian community; it’s at 39 percent of the city’s population, up 10 percent from a decade ago, according to the 2010 census. Newcomers have helped turn Irvine into the fastest-growing major city in California.
For decades, communities such as Monterey Park and San Gabriel have been gateway cities for Asian immigrants — but increasingly Irvine is a top draw for some affluent members of the community.
“They know the country very well, speak the language and they have become upper-middle class,” said Yong Chen, a professor of Asian-American history at the University of California, Irvine.
Asian studies experts say Irvine represents the latest phase of Asian migration within the U.S. When Asian laborers arrived in the 19th century, they settled together in “Chinatowns” in cities large and small.
Then came the 1965 Immigration Act, which abolished immigration quotas that had long discriminated against ethnic groups, including Asians.