Foreign buyers weary of NYC market

June 16, 2010 03:00PM

Appraiser Jonathan Miller and Corcoran CEO Pamela Liebman have opposing views on foreign buyers

While the Corcoran Group’s CEO Pamela Liebman recently said that foreigners are
continuing to buy U.S. real estate, others are saying that Europe’s ongoing debt crisis is affecting New York City’s residential market, the Wall Street Journal reported. The euro’s 25 percent depreciation against the dollar to less than $1.20 earlier this month means that Europeans are paying a quarter more for New York property in dollar currency than they did two years ago, when one euro was equal to $1.60, the Wall Street Journal reported. The British pound, valued at $2 in March 2008 but recently trading below $1.45, has taken a similar plunge. While some brokers say that affluent buyers from abroad will be attracted to a stronger dollar and the relative stability of property in the city, others say Europe’s debt crisis has already made some buyers nervous. Though there are no official records of foreign owners of city property, appraiser Jonathan Miller estimates that overseas buyers typically account for 15 percent to 20 percent of the Manhattan condo market. “The foreign buyer has always been an important contributor to demand for New York City real estate,” he said. “And there’s been a pullback.” [WSJ]