China’s love for real estate knows no bounds. And American cities like the Soma district in San Francisco and downtown Los Angeles are getting more than a skyline make over because of them. They’re getting jobs.
Chinese real estate investment has created over 200,000 American full time jobs over the last six years, and brought in more money from individual foreign investors than any other country. According to the Asia Society, 20,000 Chinese individuals were awarded the EB-5 immigrant investor visa. That’s for people coming to the U.S. with a few million to sink into job creating endeavors, not just house hunting. And within that EB-5 program, China accounts for 70% of the visas. All told, they’ve brought in $9.5 billion into the U.S., or roughly $1 billion per year over the last 10 years.
Individual Chinese buyers spent at least $93 billion on housing here between 2010 and 2015. Spending rose at an annual rate of 20% and lifted demand in many local markets in California post-2008. Chinese corporate investment capital is right behind them. Companies are either buying up real estate landmarks like Anbang Insurance’s multi-billion purchase of the historic Waldorf Astoria last year, to new sky scrapers in Boston’s waterfront district being built, in part, with Chinese investors.
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