Imagine, if you will, a city inhabited not by people, but solely by money. It might look a little bit like Manhattan, which is, admittedly, still in transition to this new, more pure plane of existence:
“Twenty-four percent of co-op and condo apartments citywide are not the primary residence of their owners,” said George V. Sweeting, the deputy director of the budget office, who oversaw the research. “Not all of these units are pieds-à-terre; many are likely owned by investors or original sponsors renting out the units.” In Manhattan, the number of non-primary residences is slightly higher than the citywide average, 29 percent, and in some neighborhoods favored by investors, such as Midtown, the share of nonprimary residences ranged as high as 44 percent.
The figures may be underestimates, since the agency did not include apartment buildings that receive 421a tax exemptions, which leaves out some more recently built condos that are widely known to have high concentrations of foreign buyers, including One57 and 15 Central Park West.