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Chinese Buyers Drawn to North American Real Estate Market

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 at 11:00am Engel & Völkers

By the Engel & Völkers Team

The world is getting smaller, and with commerce as well as accessible travel and communications, borders seem more like blurred lines. This makes today’s real estate market more global than ever. The Chinese population in particular has been increasingly emigrating to North America for well over 20 years, and in recent years the desire to invest in North American real estate has been booming. Why? There are four motivations for Chinese buyers:

  1. Education
  2. Lifestyle
  3. Immigration
  4. Investment

Along with these factors, the upper middle class in China is growing significantly, and not simply in primary cities, but in second and third tier cities—and they are looking to invest.

On average, a Chinese student educated at a North American institute can potentially earn 30-40% more during employment if they move back to China upon graduation. Many parents purchase a property near the school their child attends, either for their child to live in during their studies or to have once they graduate should they choose to remain in the U.S. or Canada. Seen as a strong and protected investment, the Chinese homebuyer considers having their money in North American properties as wise.

So what does this homebuyer typically seek in a property?

  • Proximity to lifestyle amenities such as restaurants, shopping, mass transit and good school systems reigns supreme.
  • They also appreciate strong local economies, food quality and air safety.
  • When it comes to the home itself, they typically desire a newly constructed home or one that has been well maintained in a great neighborhood. They want reassurance that their investment will continue to appreciate.

While top cities of interest continue to include the likes of Manhattan, Los Angeles, Calgary and Vancouver, markets such as Orlando, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and Montreal are starting to gain interest as well. As this international population continues to grow, they rely heavily on referrals and trust from their friends or those who have undergone similar purchases when they seek to buy a home in a particular location or with a specific real estate professional.

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