Home’s Where Heart Is

Friday, November 16, 2007 21:13
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Growing up, I always hear Home is where you hang your hat, but today the China Daily has put together an article on expats in the 2nd tier cities called Home’s where heart is

Written by Viva Goldner, is a very interesting read and I find that many of the quotes she has pooled together represent similar things we are hearing here from the managers we have been interviewing over the last few months (perhaps that is why she quoted me).

In a report aimed at foreign investors, Brubaker examined real estate investment in the three “showcase cities” of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, which fed an overheated property market with potential returns of more than 200 percent in just a few years.

“As the cities most accessible to foreign businessmen, they offered a degree of familiarity unique in China, and as such, distracted investors from looking to other markets as investment destinations. Unlike second tier provincial capitals, these cities were considered to be safe bets in a country littered with buyer beware stories,” Brubaker says.

“Historically less developed than Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, second-tier cities sought to catch up by rushing to build the infrastructure necessary to attract large sums of investment.

“So, while the primary markets commanded the attention of many foreign investors, new airports, central business district, arterial highways and universities were being planned and constructed in the provincial capitals. The result has been nothing less than the complete transformation of these cities (and) real estate investment has followed.”

More and more, I expect that the cities of Chengdu, Kunming, Dalian, etc will see movement of senior managers (western and chinese) into their cities. for some it is looking for a little more culture than Shanghai can provide, for others it is the opportunity that the city prvides (much like Beijing or Shanghai 10 years ago), while for others it is being told to go there by someone whose pay grade is a nothc higher.

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