Miami is the Next Major Destination for Chinese Investment
MIAMI – (RealEstateRama) — The MIAMI Association of REALTORS® (MIAMI) has partnered with Juwai, China’s No. 1 international property search portal, to promote MIAMI residential and commercial listings. Asia is one of the fastest-growing segments of South Florida foreign buyers.
Juwai, which means “home overseas,” boasts more than 2.4 million property listings spanning 58 countries, with more than 12,000 news stories. Juwai.com is visited by thousands of Chinese buyers each day from over 315 cities throughout China, as well as major Chinese communities in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.
America’s youngest major city, Miami, has grown into a world-class metropolis with an economic output similar to Hong Kong and is now poised to become the next major destination for Chinese investment.
Greater Miami’s diversified economy, clean air, award-winning schools, stellar universities, international banking system, infrastructure improvements, name-brand shopping, port expansion and geographic proximity to emerging markets are encouraging major Asian investment.
“Miami is the city of the future,” said Teresa King Kinney, the chief executive officer for MIAMI. “With its proximity to Latin America, diversified economy and newly-improved port, airport and highways, Greater Miami is in position to attract major investment from China and other international countries. Greater Miami already produces more than $300 billion in economic output, which is similar to the economies of Singapore and Hong Kong.”
Chinese investors and residents see the value of being in Miami. China City Construction Co., a subsidiary of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the People’s Republic of China, is planning to build an 18-story tower on Miami Beach. Hong Kong-based Swire Pacific, which developed Brickell Key in Miami, is completing construction of the $1.05 billion Brickell City Centre, a 9.1.-acre mixed-used mega development that promises to transform Downtown Miami.
China: A Fast-Growing Segment of South Florida Foreign Buyers
Miami serves as the epicenter of the South Florida region, which includes Orlando and Tampa. The entire region produces more than $750 billion in economic output, which is similar to the Netherlands, according to data from the FIU-Miami Creative City Initiative.
Wanting to be a part of this growing region, Chinese buyers have increased their South Florida residential property purchases from 1 percent of all international sales in 2012 to 2 percent in 2015, according to the 2015 MIAMI Profile of International Home Buyers.
Two percent of international sales is an impressive figure considering South Florida foreign real estate buyers accounted for 36 percent or $6.1 billion of total sales volume in 2015. A 2 percent international sales figure for Miami is higher than most U.S. states have in total international sales.
The Miami-Miami Beach metro area ranked as the top destination for Chinese buyers in Florida, according to NAR’s 2015 Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida. About 42 percent of all Chinese buyers purchased in Miami-Miami Beach, the total is 15 percentage points higher than the second-most purchased location (Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice.)
The Asian-born population in Miami-Dade County increased 10.5 percent from 2010 to 2014, growing from 34,251 to 37,853, according to 2014 U.S. Census population estimates. Asian-born residents accounted for 2.8 percent of the Miami-Dade County population, according to 2014 U.S. Census population estimates. About 19.6 percent of Miami’s Asian residents, or 7,425, identified as Chinese.
South Florida Educational Institutions Attracting Chinese Interest
Miami’s Florida International University, the first U.S. university to establish campuses in China more than a decade ago, has about 5,000 Chinese students in Miami. The parents of these students purchase property for their children and for investment purposes.
FIU has a partnership with the Tianjin University of Commerce in Tianjin, China. Each year, more than 1,000 FIU students study hospitality and tourism management while learning about the Chinese culture in China. The Marriott Tianjin China Program began in September 2006 and is FIU’s largest program in China.
The University of Miami has 942 students from China, the most among all foreign countries, according to the school’s 2014 student enrollment figures. Venezuela ranks second with 212 students. The Chinese student population at UM has increased 88.4 percent since 2010-11, when 500 students from China were enrolled. Chinese students at UM participate in the University of Miami Chinese Students and Scholars Association (UMCSSA), which was founded in 2012. The UMCSSA facilitates the transition of new incoming Chinese students to University of Miami through monthly meetings, the Mid-Autumn Celebration and the Chinese New Year Celebration.
FIU, meanwhile, recently began a 36 credit, interdisciplinary major in Chinese Area Studies, which is a branch of the Asian Studies B.A. degree. The major emphasizes Chinese language and culture as well as other courses in area studies.
Greater Miami is the nation’s eighth-largest college town (438,000 total students), according to the FIU-Miami Creative City Initiative. More than two-thirds of Miami college students stay in the region after graduating — the 16th best retention rate of the nation’s metros with more than 1 million people.
Strong Trade Partner
China has invested more than $100 billion in the United States since 2000. Locally, China finished as Miami’s third-largest foreign trade partner with $6.4 billion in transactions in 2015, according to Miami-Dade County statistics. More than 400,000 passengers flew from Miami to Asia in 2015, according to Sabre Global Demand data and Miami International Airport.
Miami is in position to increase its international investments, particularly from Chinese buyers. PortMiami, the top-ranked container cargo port in Florida with 900,000 TEUs handled each year, spent $2 billion to deepen its channel from 42-foot depth to 50-52. PortMiami is the only U.S. port south of Norfolk, Va. that can accommodate new, mega cargo vessels from the expanded Panama Canal. The larger ships are expected to start sailing through the newly expanded Panama Canal on June 26. PortMiami can become a transshipment hub for manufactured goods coming from East Asia.
Another key development is the U.S.-Chinese reciprocal agreement to issue business and tourist visas valid for 10 years instead of visas that expire in one year.
MIAMI has facilitated several partnerships and events to help its 42,000-plus members better advertise their properties in China. MIAMI has participated on several trade missions to Asia. MIAMI CEO Teresa King Kinney participated and presented at the 2016 Asian Real Estate Association of America’s China North America Global Summit on June 15-25, 2016 at Chengdu, Xi’an, Changzhou and Shanghai.
A group of Miami-Dade County government officials and local businessmen recently traveled to China and Taiwan to discuss the creation of nonstop passenger flights to Asia. The Miami-Dade Aviation Department also created the MIA-Asia Task Force of 39 community and business groups, including the Japanese Business Association and the Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association.
Recently, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. CEO Ivan Chu told Bloomberg News his airline is considering a plane capable of direct flights from Miami to Hong Kong. Cathay is Asia’s largest airline by passengers.
The North Miami City Council recently approved plans to study and designate a Chinatown cultural arts and innovation district. The district would be on Northwest Seventh Avenue (U.S. 441) from 119th to 135th streets. There are no plans to displace established businesses and the idea is to involve Chinese motifs in the overall façade of the area. North Miami City Council staff noted the large number of Chinese students at Florida International University, which has a campus in North Miami.
Other governmental entities, such as the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, are working to establish a branch of the Chinese Consulate in Miami. Currently, the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston covers Florida as part of its consular jurisdiction. A Miami Chinese Consulate would not only help local residents in obtaining visas to visit China, but it would also promote more Chinese investments in South Florida.
About the MIAMI Association of REALTORS®
The MIAMI Association of REALTORS® was chartered by the National Association of Realtors in 1920 and is celebrating 96 years of service to Realtors, the buying and selling public, and the communities in South Florida. Comprised of six organizations, the Residential Association, the Realtors Commercial Alliance, the Broward Council, the Jupiter Tequesta Hobe Sound (JTHS) Council, the Young Professionals Network (YPN) Council and the award-winning International Council, it represents more than 42,000 real estate professionals in all aspects of real estate sales, marketing, and brokerage. It is the largest local Realtor association in the U.S., and has official partnerships with 136 international organizations worldwide. MIAMI’s official website is www.miamire.com