Asians top cash buyers of NY real estate

Updated: 2015-10-06 02:52

By Ai Heping(China Daily USA)

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 Asians top cash buyers of NY real estate

The Waldorf Astoria New York hotel in Manhattan, pictured on Monday, was purchased by China's Anbang Insurance Group for $1.95 billion in October 2014. HONG XIAO / For China Daily

Chen, Liu, and Wong.

Those are the most common surnames of the top 20 cash buyers of real estate in Manhattan in the first half of the year, according to the national market-watcher RealtyTrac.

"Of the top 20 cash buyers in New York City, only five were non-Asian buyers, while the remaining 15 buyers were either overseas Asian buyers or Asian-heritage local buyers," the company said in its September housing report.

RealtyTrac's ranking came from sales deed data , which means their figures don't include those foreign buyers who purchased property using an anonymous limited liability company (LLC)

RealtyTrac took the top 20 cash buyers in the first six months of the year and found that 15 of them "were either overseas Asian buyers or Asian-heritage local buyers." The top surname, with eight buys, is Chen, followed by Lui and Wong with six each.

Foreign direct investment in US real estate rose to $104 billion in a 12-month period ending March 2015, a 10.4 percent increase over the prior year, according to an analysis published by the National Association of Realtors. According to RealtyTrac’s data, the Chinese represent 16 percent of foreign buyers nationwide.

As for New York City, Howard Lorber, chairman of real estate brokerage Douglas Elliman, told CNBC that the strong job market in New York and Wall Street is driving most sales, and overseas buyers remain strong. The turmoil in the Chinese stock market and economy, he said, has driven more wealthy Chinese to move money into New York real estate, he said.

"When the Chinese stock market went down, when their real estate market went down, that didn't stop them from buying here," Lorber said. "It actually made them more interested in getting their money out of there and buying in New York City.

Meanwhile, the price of a square foot of real estate in Manhattan hit a record in the third quarter — $1,497, according to report from Douglas Elliman.

According to the report, the average sale price of a Manhattan apartment rose 3 percent year over year to $1,737,565. The number of sales jumped 10 percent from last year and 37 percent over the second quarter. More than half of all sales were at or above the list price in the second quarter, a seven-year record. Apartments sold within an average of 73 days after being listed, the fastest ever.