If you're looking for a publicly traded real estate developer that is charging forward instead of retreating, you'll have to look far, even if you don't have to look for too long.

This morning's report out of Xinyuan Real Estate (NYSE: XIN) is a salmon flapping against the down-flowing current. Fourth-quarter revenue soared 114%, to $91.4 million. Earnings climbed 81%, before a one-time hit on its convertible stock.

Don't bother trekking out to the suburbs to find Xinyuan developments. The company is a residential homebuilder in China. Since many of that country's developers, like Shanghai Forte Land, Guangzhou R&F Properties, and New World China Land, do not trade publicly, you're just not used to hearing about the good news within the industry.

Yes, Xinyuan isn't like the residential homebuilders closer to home. It isn't walking away from land option contracts like Meritage (NYSE: MTH) did last year. It isn't selling off assets for pennies on the dollar like Lennar (NYSE: LEN) did. Don't even bother sniffing around for the stateside epidemic of inventory write-offs.

Xinyuan is actually snapping up parcels of developable land. With an economy growing at a roughly 10% annualized clip over the past few years, the nation's 1.3 billion people have a little more pocket yuan to spend.

Leisure magnets like value-minded hotelier Home Inns (Nasdaq: HMIN), travel portal Ctrip.com (Nasdaq: CTRP), and leading search engine Baidu.com (Nasdaq: BIDU) have been beneficiaries of the boom in disposable income, but people's loftier goals, like upgrading their homes, will play right into Xinyuan's open arms and open houses.

This doesn't mean that investors are overjoyed with this morning's report. The company sidestepped the issuance of near-term guidance, warning of the current regulatory market in China. "Recent austerity measures tightening the availability of credit" were cited as a detriment that could slow China's residential housing market.

Still, even a restrained China will seem like a hotbed of activity compared to the glut of unsold homes that domestic developers are watching over. And fortunate investors can buy into Xinyuan today for a lot less than the $14 a share that IPO investors shelled out nearly three months ago.

Sure, buying into China is risky, but can't the same be said of dabbling in shares of stateside homebuilders until we truly hit bottom?

Ctrip is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems stock pick, while Meritage Homes is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter recommendation. Baidu.com is a Rule Breakers selection. Which stock research service is right for you? Check out all of the Fool's services with free 30-day trial subscriptions. 

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz feels that owning a home is better than renting, but he can admire folks who are renting until housing prices dip to realistic levels. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. He is part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool's disclosure policy thinks butterflies are the prettiest insects.