Morgan Brennan, Forbes Staff
I write about real estate markets, outrageous homes and cities.
8/10/2012 @ 9:00AM |2,537 views
Real Estate Tourism: Who's Really Buying America's Homes?
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Given the uncertainties of the European Union’s fiscal crisis, many wealthy Europeans are desperately trying to shed their euro zone homes and reinvest that money in American real estate. A growing number of brokers, like Italian-born Richard Tayar of Keller Williams NYC, cater to clients looking to do that.
French and Argentineans have become a notable part of the buyer pool in New York City as well. In the luxury condo building Trump SoHo, Argentineans have accounted for the second largest number of sales this year. “Argentina is an unsung element of our demographic base,” says Amy Williamson, vice president of sales for the Prodigy Network. She says Mexicans and Peruvians have been very active also, particularly at the higher price points.
South Koreans have quietly been scooping up investment properties in the New York metro area. Brokers like Martin Chung, a senior vice president at Corcoran Group, are looking to market to them, printing up property postcards in Korean.
Sang Oh, president of Asia operations for Platinum Properties, just returned from a month in South Korea, where he pitched prospective clients a new development called Sky View Parc in Flushing, Queens. “Korean buyers have come back on very strong in the past year and a half,” notes Oh. He says most buyers he deals with want to be landlords. With rents up 40% from 2002 to 2008 in Flushing, it’s the reason he’s peddling Sky View Parc. “There’s a lot more interest in areas that you wouldn’t have thought of — tertiary markets like Flushing, Long Island City, areas of Brooklyn.”Indian Creek Compound Fetches $47 Million In Miami's Most Expensive Sale Ever Morgan Brennan Forbes StaffBillionaire Yuri Milner 'Overpaid' On $100 Million Mansion By 100%, According To Assessor Morgan Brennan Forbes Staff
On the West Coast, Asians have been busy buying homes as well. In addition to the Chinese, Singaporeans, Indonesians and Malaysians have been active, says Christophe Choo, a Los Angeles-area luxury real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Previews International. They typically want new construction, particularly condos, that they can use as pied-a-terres.
Armenians and Croatians – many under the age of 30– are plunking down millions for homes too. “[Armenian nationals] are very similar in ideals and philosophies to Russia,” asserts Choo. “They are on a major spree, buying large properties for family compounds that they buy, tear down and build major homes on.”
I am quoted in Forbes today: Real Estate Tourism: Who's Really Buying America's Homes? Specifically who is buying luxury homes in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Holmby Hills & Los Angeles.