Made In China
Connecting Chinese Real Estate Buyers to Miami
By Jill Patterson
Are the Chinese ready to invade Miami with their billions? Hard to say, but proactive brokerages like Opulence International Realty (OIR) are launching ahead making alliances with Asia to funnel some of the action their way.
The investment savvy Chinese have long been established in other parts of the United States, but as Miami grows in status and size, it may be their next neighborhood of choice. Miami’s real estate prices are far below San Francisco or New York’s. Add Miami’s brand-heavy culture, which Chinese so enjoy, along with our multiculturalism, and one might ask, why wouldn’t the Chinese be able to find their place here like everyone else?
Paving the way for chinese buyers
There are a few stumbling blocks, but interested parties, such as the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), are hard at work to overcome obstacles and open business relations. A recent DDA report states, “The Chinese currency is the only participating external economy that has achieved an increase in buying power as a result of an increase in the Yuan vs. the US Dollar. It is possible that the Chinese investor could replace a portion of the South American investor market.” The No. 1 issue is there is no direct flight from China to MIA. Swire Properties, responsible for Brickell City Centre, is owned by the company that owns Cathay Pacific Airlines, one of the most active carriers in the Far East, so there are certainly aligning interests. Another factor is Miami is billed as the gateway to Latin America for the world, but China is heavily invested in South America already and there are plenty of direct flights from China to SA, leaving Miami out of the mix.
Luring the Chinese to buy here may take some time, but both America and the Chinese are keen to speed up the process. The Chinese traditionally like to buy where there is a foothold or small “Chinatown.” With no Chinese consulate, Miami has an Asian population of roughly 1.7 percent, of which 29 percent are Chinese. In December 2014, a commercial site at South Miami Avenue and 14th Street was purchased by Chinese investment group American Da Tang for $74M. Da Tang, a concierge service for Chinese elite looking to come to the U.S., has said the project will be aimed at Chinese end users with amenities that cater to them. This could be the foothold the Chinese need to gain a comfort level in the Miami market. Developments like Paramount Miami Worldcenter have also been targeting China aggressively. The Wall Street Journal reported Paramount partner, Art Falcone, is hoping to re-create his success with his Reunion residential project in Orlando, which sold to one-third Chinese buyers who put down $30M in deposits over the past year. The National Association of Realtors reported China’s overall share of international buyers of U.S. properties rose to 16% in 2014 from 12% in 2013.
The Increase in Chinese Buying Power
In the coming weeks, OIR will be revealing their “boots on the ground” strategy regarding China in more detail. Aware of the potential of this massive new market, Broker James Hoffman and Director of Development Solutions Jack Paget have been creating alliances in China’s major cities. OIR offers the kind of concierge service that wealthy Chinese expect. In addition, Sylvia Lu, one of its newest agents, is fluent in Mandarin and a Feng Shui “Master,” something of key importance in the acquisition of property for the Chinese.
Introducing Sales Agent and Feng Shui Master, Sylvia Lu
Sylvia Lu brings a unique talent to the OIR team and to her clients. Fluent in Mandarin, she practices the ancient art of Feng Shui passed down to her by her mother, Feng Shui Master, Dr. Macy Lu, a highly educated doctor of Chinese Medicine. Sylvia, from a child, learned the elements of Feng Shui, a multidisciplinary study encompassing astrology, geography, landscaping, architecture and urban planning. With an impressive education in interior design, which includes a degree from London’s prestigious Chelsea College of Art and Design, Sylvia mixes her design background with a sixth sense for the harmonious flow of a living space. She has advised in private homes and businesses worldwide. Some of her more notable projects have included the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C., as well as an appearance on the Discovery Channel and guest lecturer at the Library of Congress. As a seasoned real estate agent with more than 10 years of experience, she brings extensive Feng Shui wisdom to her clients, offering a special, highly customized, value-added service none of her competitors can match.
Feng Shui literally translates as “wind and water.” It is an ancient Chinese art of placement based on the principles of yin and yang and the five elements. The philosophy examines the relationship between humans and their environment. Based on the laws of nature, Feng Shui provides a way of understanding why certain things occur. After in-depth analysis of her client’s Feng Shui chart, “I see the compatibility of my client’s energy to the space, so it is very customized. For the home, it is about promoting overall harmony, good health, positive relationships and for the business, I help them grow and prosper.” From Nike to Citibank, from Donald Trump to Ritz-Carlton, some of the biggest names in business use the art of Feng Shui to bring about positive results.