Chinese real estate investors focus on education: experts
Updated: 2014-04-15 05:28
By AMY HE in New York (China Daily USA)
The adage in real estate goes, "location, location, location, but for Chinese investors looking for US property, it might change to "location, education, and luxury", said real estate marketer Nick Antonicello.
While location is important, wealthy Chinese are now looking for a combination of factors to spot real estate opportunities, one of the primary ones being proximity to quality education, said Antonicello, director of new business at Unique Homes, a luxury housing publication.
Antonicello made his comments on Monday in a panel discussion to at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, part of the 2014 Asian Real Estate Association of America Global and Luxury Summit.
Elizabeth Harrington, North American publisher of the Hurun Report, a Shanghai-based publishing group best known for its annual "China Rich List," said that the Hurun Report now releases a school guide series for its clients as well because of the demand for education information.
Panelists discussing Chinese real estate investors in the US at the 2014 Asian Real Estate Association of America Global and Luxury Summit. From left to right: Nick Antonicello, director of new business at Unique Homes; Bill Hunt, international business consultant at Keller Williams Worldwide; Elizabeth Harrington, North American publisher of the Hurun Report; Dean Jones, owner and CEO of Realogics Sotheby's International Realty.
"We had wealthy individuals asking us about advice on schools — where to apply to, how to get in, what the process is — and that eventually led us to the School Guide Series," she said. The series compiles listings of top preparatory, secondary, undergraduate and post-graduate schools, and features articles from famous alumni and leading figures at big-name schools.
The West Coast of the US has always had the highest concentration of Chinese and Chinese Americans, and about 50 percent of Chinese real estate buyers focus on California because of the schooling opportunities.
"It is the education. Why is that important? We know that statistically, between 30 and 40 percent of specifically the Chinese students, mom and dad are buying them a house," said Antonicello.
Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pasadena, San Marino, and Arcadia all make up popular destinations in California for Chinese investors, Antonicello said, because of proximity to schools like Stanford University, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley), California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and others. Many California colleges and high schools place highly on US News &World Report's school rankings.
International students make up a $24 billion industry in the US and real estate agents should realize the potential for even more education-fueled real estate investments, said Bill Hunt, international business consultant at Keller Williams Worldwide. "As the world becomes a global economy, the United States and China play the key role in developing education," he said.
Harrington said that realtors should consider the secondary and tertiary markets that Chinese business people can bring, secondary being the children who they want to invest for, and also the employees they may have working for them, who are likely to want to invest in homes themselves.
"Start to think not just in terms of what cities the customers want, but start thinking in terms of a segmented market. It's all interrelated," she said. "It's a pyramid, with the high net-worth people at the top, their children in the middle, and their business employees — who have different price points and different needs — at the bottom."