South Florida by the numbers: Focus on China-Miami connection

Miami skyline with China flag
Miami skyline with China flag

“South Florida by the numbers” is a web feature that catalogs the most notable, quirky and surprising real estate statistics.

For many years, the idea of Miami becoming a tourism, business, or real estate destination for the Asian market was easily dismissed. The old line of thinking went something like, “Why would Asians want to go even further east, when California offers so many of the same qualities as Florida, and already caters to the Asian market?”

But as the world became “flatter” and South America evolved into a global trade powerhouse, those old conventions evaporated. Today, wealthy Chinese are looking to Miami real estate as a safe investment target, much like their South American predecessors from five years ago. Is this a momentary fascination, or will this trend stay consistent? Let’s take a look in this “China-Miami Connection” edition of South Florida by the numbers.

45,000: Estimated number of Asians currently living in Miami, according to the latest U.S. Census data. However, the director of Miami-Dade’s Asian-American Advisory Board believes the actual number is between 200,000 to 250,000, with Chinese-Americans being one of the largest groups. While the Chinese and Asian populations are growing dramatically, and Miami offers promise of becoming a Latin American hub for Chinese investors, skeptics point out the need for more infrastructure, such as a Chinese consulate and bank. [Miami Today]

8 and 5: According to OneWorld Properties President and CEO (and Master Broker) Peggy Fucci, numbers considered auspicious in Chinese numerology. Fucci saves and markets inventory ending with those numbers during her frequent trips to China. [Washington Post]

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60,000: Estimated number of agents associated with Homelink, one of China’s largest real estate firms, with more than 3,500 offices in 17 cities. Aventura-based ISG World and Homelink recently announced a formal partnership, marking the Chinese agency’s first long-term partnership in Florida. [The Real Deal]

$38.5 million: Price recently paid by China City Construction for a .98-acre Miami Beach lot, purchased from Miami developer Don Peebles. (The same company also paid $74.7 million for a 2.4-acre site in Brickell last year.) According to a statement, the company plans to build a condominium or hotel on the beachfront lot. [The Real Deal]

More than 500,000: Expected number of Carnival Cruise Lines passengers in China in 2015; an increase of 43 percent from 2014. The Miami-based cruise company recently announced that its own “fun ship” brand would deploy a new vessel to China in 2017. (Its Aida, Princess, and Costa lines already have ships serving China, with more to come.) This announcement comes on the heels of Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line saying it would also deploy a newly-built ship to China in 2017. [USA Today]

This column is produced by the Master Brokers Forum, a network of South Florida’s elite real estate professionals where membership is by invitation only and based on outstanding production, as well as ethical and professional behavior.