By: Ismael Rodriguez
Miami has distinguished itself as a global getaway and hub for all eager to swim its tropical waters, experience a renown nightlife, and invest in one of the rapidly thriving financial centers in the world. And yet, despite the influx of foreign business, the city’s relationship with the Asian market has, for the most part, been limited and uneventful—until now.
In past years, the regional unfamiliarity and nonexistent direct flights have kept Asian investment from growing exponentially like that of the Brazilian, Canadian, Russian and Colombian markets in Miami. However, a recent look at the numbers show that investments in Florida’s real estate market by Chinese buyers increased from 2015 to 2016, according to the Florida Association of Realtors.
“For the first time in 2016, Chinese buyers ranked in the top tier of foreign purchasers in South Florida. Like other foreign investors, they are attracted to the desirability of our location, profitability of investment, safety, climate, clean air, shopping venues, and our institutions of higher learning,” Teresa Kinney, president of the Miami Association of Realtors, told the press at the end of a three-day Global Luxury Summit in April.
Other Asian investors have also taken interest in the real estate market in South Florida. For example, Sumitorro Corporation, a Japanese conglomerate with a U.S. branch, purchased the iconic Miami Tower for $220 million this year. And Asian American Pacific Islanders sit atop a list of minority participants in terms of both loans secured and total dollar volume since 2010.
As a result, the Asian Real Estate Association of America chose Miami as the location for hosting its annual Global Luxury Summit this year. More than 730 people attended the conference, representing the largest gathering of Asian-American real estate practitioners and business professionals in Miami’s history.
“We chose Miami because, over the last decade or so, this city has absolutely exploded onto the international business and real estate scenes,” Angie Lee, AREAA national president, told the press at the summit. “The Asian-American population in Miami is beginning to surge, Asian capital is beginning to flood into the market, and our Miami chapter is actually the fastest growing in our entire organization; everything about this city is on the rise.”