Education Is Now the Biggest Incentive Driving China's U.S. Investment

    A new report shows that education is the biggest incentive driving U.S. investment by the Chinese, beating money migration, investment, lifestyle, and budget.
    The grounds of Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. Photo: Robert Mullan/
    Tamsin SmithAuthor
      Published   in Retail

    Quality Education Drives Location Choice#

    Investorist, the global marketplace for off-the-plan properties, has released the findings of its 2017 China International Property Outlook Report, recording to the top U.S. investment locations for Chinese buyers. Taking into consideration a 2017 report by WalletHub that ranks the top 150 metropolitan areas around the U.S. according to the educational opportunities they offer, Investorist has shown that education is now China’s biggest incentive driving U.S. investment, coming out ahead of money migration, investment, lifestyle and budget.

    Investorist’s report shares the results of a comprehensive survey, in which 120 agents were selected to represent a cross-section of agency size and cities across China. In the company’s 2016 report, investment was identified as the number one influencing factor for Chinese buyers purchasing US real estate, however the latest 2017 report shows education is now the top driver. 91 of the agents surveyed listed ‘children’s education’ as a top incentive for client investment, with migration and capital gain listed by 82 and 83 agents, respectively.

    Collectively, the surveyed agents sold 10,540 overseas units to Chinese investors in 2016, an increase of 40 percent over the previous year’s sales. The report also indicated that investment in overseas properties grew from 600 million in 2009 to 15.8 billion in 2013, and more than doubled by the end of 2016, with the agents planning to sell more properties this year than they did last year.

    While Australia is still currently ranked the top investment destination by the Chinese agents surveyed, the report shows that by the end of 2017, agents are expecting the demand for U.S. properties to surpass that of Australia, and the U.S. will become the biggest investment destination for Chinese investors.

    Chinese university students. Photo: iBrave/
    Chinese university students. Photo: iBrave/

    LA Is the Biggest Housing Market for Chinese Investment#

    According to the Investorist report, the number one US housing market for Chinese investment right now is Los Angeles, California. Interestingly, WalletHub’s overall ‘education rank’ for the location was a somewhat average—it ranked 89th on the list of 150. However the location does boast the nearby California Institute of Technology, now ranked fourth in the world according to the most recent 2018 QS World University Rankings.

    Investorist found the top draws for Chinese investment in the LA location to include competitive pricing by International standards, particularly compared to other cities on the West Coast. The report suggests that for Chinese investors drawn to San Francisco for its world-class educational opportunities, Los Angeles is becoming a top choice for those looking for ‘bargain’ prices a short distance away.

    San Francisco itself was found to be the fourth biggest housing market for Chinese investment, boasting North America’s oldest Chinatown and ranked eighth by WalletHub for quality education


    Stanford University, located in Silicon Valley, is ranked second in the world.

    Education as the Key to Success#

    “Education is extremely important in the Chinese culture,” Josh Cunningham, Investorist’s VP of Sales for the Americas, told Jing Daily. “In their eyes, it’s the number one key to success. Having the ability to send their children to the best schools that enable them to excel in the real world is absolutely indispensable.”

    Other locations in the top five were Miami, with its top draws for Chinese buyers including an increasing number of students at the University of Miami, and New York, which boasts two of the renowned American Ivy League universities, Columbia (now ranked 18th) and Cornell (14th).

    Rounding out the top five investment locations was the Boston-Cambridge area, boasting not only Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1st) and Harvard University (3rd) but a whole host of academically excellent boarding schools and high-school-level education. Boston also ranks third in terms of the number of international students in the U.S. metropolitan areas, trailing only New York and Los Angeles.

    According to the report by Investorist, China will become a middle-class society by 2030, only further increasing foreign property investment, and the nation’s desire for high-quality international education.

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