Wealthy Chinese buyers are a growing force in U.S. real estate …

The influx of investment from China is reshaping many markets, including Seattle. (fotoVoyager/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

After a long and painful slide following the real estate collapse in 2008, Seattle’s property market is enjoying one of the sharpest rises anywhere in the United States. Buoyed by a rapidly expanding economy that has brought tens of thousands of high-paying jobs to the city, real estate values have nearly doubled since 2009, according to the online real estate database Zillow.

Yet while technology billionaires gobble up estates from Puget Sound to Lake Washington, Jim Conlan, a real estate broker with Century 21 North Homes Realty in Seattle, says the real catalyst for the dramatic upswing can be found in China.

“To be honest, Chinese buyers have been flooding this market the past few years,” says Conlan, who has been selling homes in Seattle for more than

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