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Irvine's Asian population booms, boosting the local real estate market




A server dressed as a Taiwanese schoolgirl serves noodles to patrons at Class 302, a popular eatery in Irvine.
A server dressed as a Taiwanese schoolgirl serves noodles to patrons at Class 302, a popular eatery in Irvine.
Josie Huang/KPCC
A server dressed as a Taiwanese schoolgirl serves noodles to patrons at Class 302, a popular eatery in Irvine.
History professor Yong Chen of the University of California, Irvine says that Irvine is a "post-modern Chinatown" that Asian homebuyers are drawn to.
Josie Huang/KPCC
A server dressed as a Taiwanese schoolgirl serves noodles to patrons at Class 302, a popular eatery in Irvine.
A moving company moves a family into an Irvine neighborhood.
Josie Huang/KPCC
A server dressed as a Taiwanese schoolgirl serves noodles to patrons at Class 302, a popular eatery in Irvine.
A line of people waiting to enter the 85 Degrees C Bakery snakes through the Diamond Jamboree shopping center in Irvine.
Josie Huang/KPCC
A server dressed as a Taiwanese schoolgirl serves noodles to patrons at Class 302, a popular eatery in Irvine.
Artist's rendering of a new Great Park Neighborhood in Irvine, developed by FivePoint Communities. Promotional materials say the single-family residences "will combine classic, American Heritage architecture with thoughtful new features, such as unprecedented flexibility to accommodate families of all sizes - and all generations."
FivePoint Communities
A server dressed as a Taiwanese schoolgirl serves noodles to patrons at Class 302, a popular eatery in Irvine.
Amy Lee (r.) entertains a friend at her apartment in Irvine. Lee, 32, works as a computer systems planner and has been living in Irvine for seven years.
Josie Huang/KPCC
A server dressed as a Taiwanese schoolgirl serves noodles to patrons at Class 302, a popular eatery in Irvine.
The Diamond Jamboree shopping center in Irvine features Asian-centric dining and retail stores.
Josie Huang/KPCC
A server dressed as a Taiwanese schoolgirl serves noodles to patrons at Class 302, a popular eatery in Irvine.
Lunchgoers at Irvine restaurant Class 302 dine on the Taiwanese street food such as pork noodles and stinky tofu.
Josie Huang/KPCC


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Irvine is now the fastest-growing major city in California. It also happens to be one of the hottest real estate markets in the nation -- thanks, in part, to a boom in its Asian population. 

Communities like Monterey Park and San Gabriel were always the place to go, but now, as KPCC's Josie Huang reports, Irvine is a top draw for Asian homebuyers.