More than half of China’s wealthiest people are planning to migrate to the United States within the next three years. Some of the country’s richest people have already started investing in properties throughout the U.S., according to a survey released Friday by the luxury magazine publisher Hurun Report. The survey found that the majority of China’s population of rich people were particularly interested in relocating to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
Following conversations with 240 of China’s wealthiest people with an average net worth of at least 27 million yuan, or about $4 million USD, researchers from the Hurun Report found that 60 percent of rich Chinese people plan to invest abroad within the next three years. Roughly 56 percent of the people surveyed said they were considering migrating because they were afraid the yuan would continue to depreciate. A separate analysis conducted by Hurun Report and Visas Consulting that was also released Friday said the yuan has fallen nearly 10 percent against the U.S. dollar since the summer of 2015.
Rich Chinese people are worried that China’s property bubble may burst as the yuan continues to weaken while housing prices are steadily increasing. Instead, they are investing in properties overseas in areas of the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia and Singapore that are still facing property price rises but not to the same extent of what China’s market is experiencing, the report said. Housing prices throughout China have soared 205 percent over the last five years. In the U.S., however, prices were only expected to rise about five percent in 2016, according to a Reuters poll released in August.
Of all the places rich Chinese are investing their money and migrating to, the U.S. was the number one destination on the list. Los Angeles had the highest amount of interest, with 17.8 percent of those surveyed saying they would move there, 13.2 percent of people said they would choose to invest in property in San Francisco, while 12.8 percent chose Seattle and 11.6 percent picked New York.
In 2014, Hurun Report conducted the same survey of 141 wealthy Chinese people and found similar results, with 60 percent of rich Chinese saying they would emigrate and invest in other countries. At the time, there were three reasons fueling the decisions to move, including the need for better education opportunities for children, worry over China’s growing pollution problem and concerns for food safety in the country.