The Hurun Report, Inc. is a publishing group that targets special interests of China’s wealth creators. Known best for its China’s Rich List, a veritable Who’s Who of China’s high net worth individuals, the Hurun Group recently partnered with the Visas Consulting Group to help determine where wealthy Chinese individuals and families ($1.5M – $30M) would move if/when they were to decide to move from China.
As in the past three consecutive years, the Hurun Report ranks the United States #1 as the best place to live outside of China. Canada, for the first time, moves into the second slot. Australia and the United Kingdom round out the top four places. Though still #1 in 2018, the US “has seen a fall in favor” since Donald Trump became president.
Why do wealthy Chinese consider moving from their homeland? Access to quality education (both public and private schools) is, hands down, the primary motivating factor.
China’s pollution is also a huge deterrent. Luckily, so far anyway, it’s not standard operating procedure in the US to wear masks for protection against terrible pollution as it is in China. More than 50% of respondents to the Hurun Report indicated that residing in an “ideal living environment” or “living environment” was a main motivation for moving. “Many Chinese are not satisfied with the local environment,” said David Chen, lawyer with Visas Consulting Group.
China’s currency is a growing worry among high net worth individuals currently living in China. 84% of respondents, an increase of 50% from last year, said they were concerned about the devaluation of the Yuan. (The Yuan fell to its lowest level in 8 years in November 2017 before recovering slightly in the first half of 2018.)
Property value and wealth protection are forefront considerations when determining where in the US to live. Chinese investors spend an average of $800,000 (unlike Russian investors who spend +$1M)) on a home so it makes sense that Chinese buyers picked Los Angeles as their first choice this year, followed by New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Boston. All of these cities have outstanding universities, colleges and graduate schools, all are beautiful places to live and all have more than solid residential and commercial investment opportunities that have enabled families from all over the world to maintain their wealth.
Despite Toronto and Vancouver adding a tax to foreigners buying property in their respective cities during the last two years, Canada as a whole is more than desirable to wealthy Chinese. Property values, educational resources and a “welcoming” attitude towards foreigners are all bonuses to wealthy Chinese, plus the environment is clean and beautiful.
According to the Hurun Report, data suggests that the number of Chinese high net worth individuals will continue and grow by some 50% over the next three years.