The Chinese elite may be making big money investments in U.S. real estate markets, but many other Chinese immigrants and temporary workers already reside in the U.S., representing a significant pool of residential property buyers.
A large, stable community investing in the American Dream
The Chinese (including Taiwanese) are the largest community of Asian origin in the U.S. population, numbering 3.8 million in 2009, up 31 percent from 2005. They comprise almost one fourth of all people of Asian descent in the United States. They are also highly invested in residential real estate. Chinese-American households have the top homeownership rates, 64 percent, of any minority group in the U.S. Asian-Americans in total had the highest median property value in 2009, $351,600 versus $185,200 for the country as a whole.
Where Chinese immigrants settle
San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver and New York have been the traditional gateways for Chinese immigrants to North America, but there are large communities of Chinese-born in many other cities. (See map.) Though the East and West Coasts tend to be the greatest magnets, job opportunities have pulled Chinese immigrants to locations all over the U.S.. In some areas, immigration has helped support the housing market. For instance, the Bay Area has seen consistent sales to incoming Chinese attracted by technology jobs throughout the economic downturn.
How to tap this market
Even if you’re not in a gateway city, there are a number of ways to connect with Chinese immigrants entering your region:
Get to know your local Chinese-American community. Many metropolitan areas have a fairly substantial Chinese population. If your market does, make connections with business and social leaders in the community. Look to see if there is a local Asian-American Chamber of Commerce or Chinese-American Chamber of Commerce, and participate in its activities. Find Chinese or Asian cultural associations in your market, and attend events and celebrations, like Dragon Boat festivals and Chinese New Year parades.
Contact local colleges, universities and research hospitals. They are among the largest employers of highly-skilled foreign workers under H1-B and H2-B visas. Hiring companies are required to cover workers’ travel costs and assist them in finding housing upon arrival, so offer your services to them.
Look for other companies hiring Chinese workers on visas. MyVisaJobs.com is a visa job information portal and online immigration community you can use to locate companies and organizations in your area that are currently hiring foreign workers.
Contact Chinese-owned firms. They may be bringing in more Chinese nationals for management. Offer your services for executive relocation.
Chinese immigrants tend to do business with people they know well, or who are known well by those they trust. The more you reach out within this community, the more rewards you’ll find.