Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Fear of a Rich Foreign Buyer

The most recent New York mag cover story is a fascinating and seemingly overdue look at the flood of foreign money into the New York real estate market, and in particular at "stash pads," which are, despite their prime locations, little more than apartment-shaped financial contrivances. It's got it all! High-rise towers in which the majority of tenants are simply presumed foreign, since their identities are masked by shell corporations; whispers of international crime syndicates; blind money men sending buyer-tourists to make all-cash deals that squeeze even affluent city-dwellers out of the market; a subtext (possibly the PRETEXT for the piece, also?), of course, about the loss, under the pressure of so much cash, of some sort of essential city character. The story starts:

At a time when many New Yorkers are doubtful about making any long-term investments in their city, one form of residential real estate is drawing millions of foreign and corporate dollars—the luxury condo.

The glass-walled towers with their sweeping views and six-figure price tags are proving popular with corpor—

Haha, six figures, wait, never mind, this is a 1976 New York Times article about almost the exact same thing.

And then, back to this year: "Real estate can serve as a convenient pied-à-terre, an investment hedge against a wobbly home currency, or an insurance policy—a literal refuge if things go bad."

(This is not to say things have gotten better, or haven't gotten worse: The Galleria's listings today are SOMETHING: A 500 sqft studio for $745,000 sound good? Or maybe a 4,900 sqft seven-bedroom on the 50th floor for $15 million?)

Anyway, what happened between 1976 and 2014? Who knows! Who cares! Probably nothing.

5 Comments / Post A Comment

KarenUhOh (#19)

What happened? The highlights: we stopped the lip-service Revolution of the Left bullshit and set about making a living; and then, eight years of Reagan, twelve years in the Bushes, in between a guy who got a blow job, and finally a breakthrough leader who spurred Revolution of the Right bullshit, marching on Washington to Take Our Country Back.

Like I totally get this. Yesterday we were worried about the same problems we are worrying about today and today is yesterday's tomorrow so since today came our worries were overblown. So amazing. Except that like your Doctor telling you that you have a bad lump somewhere in you and you'd better get it biopsied and you don't and worry about it, then you forget about it then you realize six months later you are still alive and you go "Stupid Dr. SO and So he made me worry about nothing." Then the next day you wake up dead. I totally get that also. So there you have it.

John Herrman (#8,286)

@Mathew Smithburger@facebook haha I mean it's less "don't worry" than "we've been in trouble for a long time"

eizverson22 (#277,962)

Foreigners buy a house in the country is part of the reason for money laundering.

hershmire (#233,671)

But it's out duty as Americans to fear foreigners!

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