New York Post: Obama nod to China visas and US real estate boom

by Diane Francis

China Flag

It hasn’t gotten as much atten­tion as his other immigration de­crees, but President Obama has agreed to let Chinese apply for multiple­ entry business and tourist visas that last for 10 years, not just one. Student visas have also been extended to five years from one.
Reaction to the immigration pol­icy, announced Nov. 12, was immedi­ate in China. There was a 68.2% leap in visas issued in December and Jan­uary, for a total of 351,650. If these numbers continue, an additional 833,000 visas will be issued, bringing the total to 2.1 million in 2015. The elite hunger to leave China.
Among the nation’s 2.4 million millionaires, 64% plan to leave and 78% want their kids educated abroad, according to a 2014 poll by Hurun, a Chinese research company.
One thing they’re doing right away — buying real estate, and driving up prices in New York.
“We are seeing the tip of the ice­ berg. State enterprises are investing in real estate but the real wave is the upper middle class spreading their wings . . . with a 10-­year visa more will buy property,” said Simon Henry, co­CEO of China’s biggest online property seller, “Searches on our site and others leaped immediately after the No­vember announcement.”
Chinese outstripped all other other international buyers in the US for the first time in history, accord­ ing to the National Association of Realtors 2014 annual report. Total international sales hit $92.2 billion, and Chinese purchases represented one­third of the total.
The question today: How much will they buy? The question tomor­row: After the visas expire, how many will stay?