Monday, January 9, 2012

Top Real Estate Trends 2011 Wrap Up

MANHATTAN — The financial markets are unstable, unemployment remains high and credit is tight, but that hasn't seemed to hurt Manhattan's real estate market much in 2011.
DNAinfo asked real estate experts and brokers how the markets fared this year, what trends they saw, and their predictions for 2012. Here's what they said:
1. Foreign buyers help prop up the condo market
Buyers from China, Russia and South America have turned to Manhattan real estate as their own economies and residential markets have been in flux — and they've been plunking down all cash for amenity-laden condos.
"The foreigners are leading the way," Jacky Teplitzky, a managing director and team leader of the Jacky Teplitzky team at Prudential Douglas Elliman, said after returning from a recent work-related trip to Brazil.
"From South America, No. 1 is Brazil, and the reason is their economy is extremely strong," she said. "They haven't been hit by the credit crisis. The exchange rate is extremely favorable. The local real estate is really expensive."
Teplitzky said Brazilians she's worked with tended to follow their friends to the East Side between 57th and 79th streets.
Jonathan Miller, an expert real estate appraiser, wrote in Prudential Douglas Elliman’s third quarter report for 2011 that foreign buyers were likely to be the reason that the number of condo sales hit a four-year high (while co-ops, which are notoriously difficult for foreign buyers to purchase, remained unchanged).
"In any country, if their economy is up and down and precarious and unbalanced, they still see the U.S. as a safe place to invest," said Doug Heddings, of the residential boutique firm, the Heddings Property Group.
Heddings saw an "explosion of foreign buyers," especially from China and Russia in 2011. Chinese families, for example, were attacted to properties featuring the latest techology and amenities for their children so they could attend college here, even if they're years away, he said.

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