Ongoing turmoil and insecurity in China are encouraging many people to migrate to the United States. Chinese immigrants are now the third largest foreign-born group in the United States with an immigrant population of more than 2 million in 2013, according to the Migration Policy Institute. Recently, we’ve been seeing trends where more Chinese investors are setting their sights on residential and commercial properties around Upstate New York.
Upstate New York offers attractive opportunities for working families and singles alike. The Albany Business Review reports many Chinese-speaking buyers are seeking out investment properties and homes around Albany, New York, in particular, because of new job opportunities, affordable living expenses, and a quality education available at American schools. A group of Chinese and American investors have already purchased two downtown Albany office buildings for $4.25 million.
New York City and other parts of New York have already experienced a ‘flooding’ of Chinese investment dollars. $5.3 billion of Manhattan real estate was purchased in 2015 alone, according to data from Real Capital Analytics. From independent firms to conglomerates, New York is seeing a boost in developments and revitalizations thanks to Chinese investors who are moving their wealth outside of China in hopes of better returns. The Chinese government has loosened its grip on many restrictions it once had on investing in the United States and abroad, making the prospect of investing in New York’s high-profile neighborhoods even more attractive to Chinese investors.
Even some of the more rural areas in upstate New York will soon see a facelift. Idea Campus in California’s Silicon Valley started identifying commercial real estate investment opportunities in the Adirondack area to build a summer camp for Chinese students attending university in New York and Northeast cities. Plans for a training institute for Chinese students and their families are also underway. These initiatives would help create startups and businesses that in turn could encourage Chinese executives to move to the United States.
China continues to be one of the world’s largest economies and is currently the second-largest destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). While it has demonstrated exceptional economic output over the years, it still lags behind in outbound foreign direct investment (OFDI). President Obama has taken steps to attract foreign investment in an effort to promote economic activity and generate more jobs. Chinese firms sent $6.4 billion to the United States in the first half of 2015, according to Rhodium Group and continues to be the fastest-growing national investor in America. Other parts of the United States that are seeing an influx of Chinese investments and migrants include South Carolina, California, and Michigan. Michigan alone has attracted more than $600 million in Chinese investment over the past four years, according to TIME Magazine.
China’s economy is not showing any signs of improvement so experts suggest investment in the United States and New York real estate may end up slowing down in the next two years, according to a report from the Asia Society. Still, approximately $58 billion will be invested in commercial real estate between 2016 and 2020; $17.1 million in commercial real estate investments were already made between 2010 and 2015.
Political unrest, economic uncertainty, and minimal business opportunities are some of the key forces driving Chinese nationals to invest outside of their own country. For many investors, buying property overseas and focusing on developing organizations and businesses that would prompt more Chinese citizens to migrate — and improve their quality of life — is a more worthwhile venture. Upstate New York presents a number of opportunities for Chinese investors with attractively priced properties and potential for new developments in both rural and commercial districts.