International buyers have always played a central role in the Manhattan residential marketplace, accounting for an estimated 10 to 15 percent of all sales in the city almost every year, and the weakness of the dollar is continuing to drive international sales, the New York Times reported. In recent years, much of the new development in Midtown — including projects like the 60-story Setai Fifth Avenue and the 48-unit Centurion — has been marketed to foreigners. Close to half of the units in the Centurion have been sold, all but one to a foreign buyer, according to a building spokesperson.
“I think foreigners are coming back into the New York City market with a vengeance,” said Khashy Eyn, the CEO of brokerage Platinum Properties, which has opened a Paris office to serve the New York market. Some countries have also eased banking rules that regulate the transfer of money, making transactions simpler for these foreign buyers, many of whom view New York real estate as a safe haven, compared to the political instability in their own countries. [NYT]