In a bid to capitalize on Chinese investor’s growing interest in Florida’s real estate market, the Miami Association of Realtors (MIAMI) has forged a partnership with Juwai, one of the largest international property search portals in China, to promote the city’s residential and commercial listings. Asia is one of the fastest-growing segments of South Florida foreign buyers.
The deal is a significant one that could translate to much greater exposure for Floridian homes and properties, because 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.
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, in a statement. “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. Also, 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.
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.)
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 that should attract more interest 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.