Chinese in the Blue Ridge


The Chinese will invade the Blue Ridge.  This is a prediction.

This prediction is based on experiences gained over 40 years.  The experience began in Hong Kong in the 1960s.  This continued when I purchased London real estate in the 1970s.  The 1980s was the decade for Naples, Florida; the Isle of Man and the Dominican Republic.  Ecuador real estate activity started in the 1990s and we returned to Florida real estate in 2009.   Each opportunity turned out to be explosively profitable and revealed itself with the study of contrasts and trends.

little-horse-creek

Our Blue Ridge Farm is one big north facing slope.

The sleeper investment however is our farm in Ashe County, North Carolina because there is a huge contrast created by some even bigger trends.

This site has been focusing on the trends. One of the biggest trends is the increasing scarcity of water.  Another huge trend is the explosive growth of the Chinese and Indian economies.  Another trend is even more explosive growth of use in China and India….that is Ginseng and Sandalwood.  Another trend is expanded use by Western medicine of ancient herbs such as ginseng and sandalwood.  Plus there is the growing trend to escape the ruinous costs of western medicine by living naturally healthy lifestyles which includes the use  sandalwood and ginseng.

Another big trend is for Chinese investors to buy real estate outside China.

A Wall Street Journal article entitled “Chinese developers make big bet on overseas property” (1) says:  Over the past three decades, Xu Weiping has been an industrial designer, government researcher and appliance salesman.  Now he’s seeking to build a £1 billion ($1.63 billion) business district on the edge of London, one of a growing number of Chinese developers launching their first projects in big Western cities.  His efforts say as much about China’s global ambitions as they do about the economic challenges he and the government face at home.  The slowing of China’s economy and the government’s encouragement of diversification have sparked a global push among Chinese investors and developers.  Last year, Chinese investors purchased more than $13.9 billion of overseas commercial property, according to Real Capital Analytics.  That is more than the combined total for the four previous years.

This is also a trend with agricultural real estate all over the world.  Here is an example in Canada.

A  foxnews.com article entitled  “Chinese buy up Canada farms… is Beijing behind it?”  (2) says:  With too few farms in China to feed a burgeoning population, Chinese immigrants have started buying up agricultural lands in Canada and shipping produce to Asia. But with new investment comes fears that a generation of young Canadian would-be farmers are being squeezed out of the market by newcomers that some suspect are being bankrolled by the government in Beijing.  In Saskatchewan province, home to 45 percent of all arable land in Canada, the price of farmland has risen an average of 10 percent in the last year, and as much as 50 percent over three years in areas where Chinese immigrants have settled.

See how the Chinese are buying up Australian farms.

A Sydney Morning Herald article about “A field of dreams: Chinese buyer swoops on Australian farm land” (3) says:  The deal was done within 48 hours. The Chinese billionaire had zeroed in on 54 hectares of farmland in Werribee, golden fields of canola in full bloom, just off the Princes Freeway, not far from where the suburban fringe begins.  The next step was the signing of the contracts eight days ago, with the land sold for $4.4 million, in what  could be a record for rural land in the area, according to Mr Castran.  Welcome to the new world of foreign investment in the Australian property market, where the deals are big, and often involve Chinese money.  Mr Castran likens the impact to what wool, wheat, iron ore and coal have meant for Australia.
“I think that there’s a lot of free money coming out of the Chinese economy and it’s looking for a safe haven,” said Mr Castran. “We tick each and every box in relation to that.”

Plus the Chinese and other non US investors are also buying up heartland USA.

A Yahoo news article “Why foreign investors buy American farmland” (4) says:  No local farmer can compete with $7,000 an acre,the going price foreign investors are willing to pay for America’s heartland.

The contrast?   The lowest priced real estate in Ashe County are north facing slopes in the outer reaches of county.   This land is the natural habitat for ginseng.

This is why the Chinese are most likely to be the non US investors to buy land in the Blue Ridge and similar areas.  China represents the biggest market for ginseng.  This market is growing and the ideal place to grow ginseng can be purchased for a song compared to farmland elsewhere.

Invest in what you love.

I am not recommending that everyone should quickly buy land in the Blue Ridge or Ashe County.  However if you love being in remote places surrounded by nature and a lot of fresh pure water, then you should investigate.  Merri and I did.  We love it here where three cars is a traffic jam, our commute from bedroom to office is about 45 seconds and did I mention our five county area has the highest percentage of fiber optics home connectedness in the USA?  WE can be away from it all, but still totally connected to the world from the Blue Ridge.

Gary

Learn more about living in the Blue Ridge at our Montreal seminar.

(1) wsj.com Chinese property investors make big bets overseas

(2) foxnews.com Chinese buy up Canada farms

(3) smh.com Chinese buyers swoop on Australian farmland

(4) news.yahoo.com why foreign investors buy-American-farmland


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