Chinese investors flock to Miami’s real estate market

Global Business

New York isn’t the only U.S. city looking to cash in on China’s real estate investors. Miami is also laying out the red carpet. CCTV America’s Nitza Soledad Perez reported this story from Miami.

Chinese investors are slowly coming to the shores of Miami. While they lag far behind the Latin American and European investors who dominate the real estate market scene in South Florida, brokers and realtors are ready for that to change. They have braced themselves for a Chinese investment surge in Miami properties.

Miami has beautiful beaches, shopping, a booming real estate market and a night life like no other American city. Chinese investors have not taken full advantage of a rapidly growing real estate market that is still accessible to middle-class investors.

But opportunity seekers were working to lure investors from the Middle Kingdom.

“I have my partner Wenjun Lin. We started this business five years ago, she is from China, she got her masters degree in Real Estate and finance and we started the company together,” David Landau, owner of Miami Real Estate Invest, said. “We have about ten Mandarin-speaking realtors, including Wenjun, and we have a few other realtors speaking Spanish and, of course, English.”

WenJun and Landau work to sell their potential investors and buyers on the Miami lifestyle.

“I would tell them that you can get a better life, you have better air quality in Miami, and you have better water, and then you can also enjoy your Chinese life,” Wenjun said. “You would never eat American food everyday, you can always do some Chinese groceries here in Miami. So you can enjoy both lives.”

Miami has risen to No. 7 on the list of the most important global cities to the world’s wealthy, according to Knight Frank’s the Wealth Report, a London-based firm.

A pricy and overbuilt Chinese domestic market combined with a slowing national economy is driving buyers from China to look overseas.

“The pricing for Miami is much lower than other global cities, that is compared to New York, Paris and London. Those prices are much higher than Miami, so we believe and we are certain of this, over a period of time because we are a global city we will appreciate faster than the other global city markets,” Landau said. “So that is a perfect opportunity for investors.”

The city of Miami was hit hard in the 2008 financial crisis when the real estate market crashed, but has since bounced back.

The firm Crane Spotters takes real estate agents and all those interested in the Miami’s real estate in a pre-construction boat tour.

As of December of 2014, there were 302 pre-construction projects in south Florida. That means 28,000 new units in Miami, which are selling quickly.

“We’ve been doing business in Southern California, very successfully, selling a lot of wineries, golf course, hotels, and properties, these days primarily to rich Chinese investors,” Ralph Liu, Chinese broker and president and CEO of InvestorsAlly Realty, said. “So we feel the condo market in south Florida will fit in that category.”

“For a lot of the high end category, they basically just want to have the most expensive trophy property, so for those people obviously, South beach will fit into that, on the other hand, there is a lot of bargain hunters and from what we saw on the tour, there is a lot of opportunity in Miami,” Liu said.

Through the first six months of 2014, Chinese buyers accounted for 1.6 percent of properties sold in Miami-Dade County. They’re ranked No. 10 and just behind Mexican buyers, according to the Miami Association of Realtors.

“The idea is to make Miami a global and multi-cultural city, to be compared to a London, a Hong Kong, a Singapore, a Dubai. You need to have a variety of people from different countries. We are very strong in Miami with people from the Americas, North and South. We are very strong with the Europeans, but we are very weak on the Asian side,” Peter Zalewski, founder of, said.

The city is working on it. Major artists and choreographers of the 2008 Beijing Olympics debuted in Art Basel on Miami beach a few weeks ago.