The Miami Association of Realtors has been actively wooing Chinese buyers to invest. The association has noted that more and more Chinese buyers are choosing to buy properties in the United States. In recent years, the leading purchasers of land in Miami have been from Latin America. The majority of foreign property buyers came from Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela. With dwindling fortunes in the traditional Latin American markets, Miami industry players need to look for other potential customers.
Although there is a notable Chinese presence in the Miami real estate industry, the association has decided to increase interest by advertising in China. Led by the CEO Teresa King Kinney, the Miami Association of Realtors recently participated in 2016 Real Estate Association Global Summit on China and North America held in Shanghai, Xi’an, Chengdu, and Changzhou. The meeting took place during June 15th – 25th, 2016 and brought together key players in real estate industry.
Miami property players are aware that China has increased its investments in the US market since the year 2000. They are also mindful of the fact that in 2015 China and Miami had a trade relationship worth about $6.4 Billion, according to Miami International Airport and Sabre Global Demand data. With such a substantial amount of money changing hands, the relationship can only deepen. In national real estate transactions, foreigners purchased properties worth about $104 billion in the US. Chinese nationals accounted for over a quarter of the amount by buying property worth $28 billion.
In April, a delegation of representatives of various Miami Condos made a long trip to China to attend the Beijing Luxury Property Show. Representatives from Miami Association of Realtors were also in attendance, handing out flyers and promoting Miami real estate market. The aggressive targeting of Chinese citizens stems from the slowing purchases from the traditional Latin markets. The strengthening of the US dollar and the deteriorating economic state of many Latin American countries has eroded their purchasing power.
Why Chinese citizens prefer Miami
A survey by the National Association of Realtors revealed that Miami was the top destination for Chinese Investors. Up to 42% of the Chinese purchasing property in the US chose to invest in Miami. Chinese national buying houses and making other investments in Miami say that they love the area’s good schools, clean air as well as the presence of international banking facilities. The investors also state that the vibrant construction industry in Miami interests them a lot. Chinese property buyers have been comparing property rates and have realized that Miami is cheaper than New York or San Francisco.
According to the CEO of the Miami Association of Realtors, they are looking for ways of getting the transport stakeholders to arrange for direct flights between China and Miami. The property officials state that direct flights could lead to an improved trade environment, enhanced tourism and a boost the real estate sector. The CEO also noted a benefit for retail and education sectors. According to Bloomberg, Cathay Pacific airline is considering direct flights from Hong Kong to Miami.
North Miami City Councils Approves a Chinatown
As part of its efforts to welcome citizens from China to Miami, the North Miami City Council recently approved a plan to design and build a Chinatown arts and cultural district. Although there are already established businesses in the area between 119th to 135th streets, the plan is to include Chinese items in the overall appearance of the area. The staff at the city council noted that the area has a large population of Chinese students at the Florida State University’s campus in North Miami.
The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners has been looking at the possibility of having a Chinese Consulate in Miami. Under the current arrangement, the Chinese consular covering Miami is in Houston.
Chinese Interests in Miami
Chinese-owned companies have recently started doing big projects in Miami. China City Construction Company has embarked on ambitious building projects. The company has purchased two prominent properties: one in West Brickell and the other in North Miami Beach. The company spent about $110 million on the two projects.
On the West Brickell site, the firm intends to build a twin tower project rising 80 floors that will house a hotel, condos, and parking. The project is a partnership between China City Construction and a Hong Kong-based firm known as Chun Wo Development.
A surprising feature of China City Construction is the fact that Chinese Housing Ministry owns it. It thus means that it is a government company doing private business in the United States. On the beach area, the developer plans to build a 21-story tower with 42 condos. However, the lot is located in Miami’s historic district and thus requires the approval of Miami’s Preservation Board. The Chinese developers have been intelligent enough to use prominent local architects on their projects.
It is worth noting that Chinese companies with government affiliations are involved in massive infrastructural projects in Africa and Latin America. Whether they are taking the same approach in America remains to be seen. There is no question, however, that the Chinese companies are snapping up attractive properties in Miami and other areas with the intention of development. The shift to Miami seems to have started a company called American Da Tang Group set up shop in the city. The company is known for acting as an intermediary between Chinese investors and American real estate agents.
Analysts have noted that the Chinese economy is slowing down, a factor that makes it an attractive option for them to invest in other countries. However, Mr Regalado, the mayor of Miami, has some reservations about building projects with direct participation of foreign governments. Individual Chinese investors are still buying condos in and around Miami. Although it may take some time, it seems that the people from China will eventually dominate the Miami property industry.