Foreigners Breathe Life Back Into New York Real Estate

After a long year of very little activity in the New York real estate market, foreigners are returning to the U.S. and snatching up property left and right, particularly in Manhattan.

 The British, Italians, Brazilians, French, Australians, Russians, and Canadians have suddenly resumed buying in the States after a long and painful pause due to the recession and the weak value of the euro against the U.S. dollar.

During the first nine months of 2009, not one apartment sold at 40 East 66th Street in Manhattan, according to sales director Barbara Russo, making the task of converting the abundant “lookers” into buyers a top priority as the year dragged on. As fall approached, things changed. At that specific location, seven units went into contract; six of them to foreigners. “After the crash, they stopped buying. Now they’re looking at New York as a bargain,” says Russo. Similar trends have been seen across the board in Manhattan, spurring optimism that with “recalibrated prices and favorable exchange rates” things are beginning to take a turn for the better.

One crucial component to securing an overseas buyer on a property in the U.S. seems to be honing in on their decisiveness. “If you’re in town for a limited amount of time, you act quicker. You’re determined.” In addition, many of these foreigner’s are extremely wealthy and looking for a second home and they often pay cash.