“Chinese are the new Russians,” says Dolly Lenz: VIDEO

November 25, 2013 02:51PM

Superbroker Dolly Lenz said the tides of global economy have turned, and the Chinese, not the Russians, are now the biggest buyers of the moment in New York City.

“It used to be, if you had a Russian client, the Red Sea parted,” she said on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street. “Now that’s true for the Chinese. If I have a Chinese buyer, I’m going to get any appointment I want.”

The flood of Chinese buyers into luxury New York real estate, Lenz said, comes from a desire for tangible assets. They want to purchase commodities such as jewels, art and property — diversifying their wealth and investing in physical assets, which they feel are safer. There is also a desire to get their cash out of China, she said.

But Chinese buyers are savvy, and require little handholding, Lenz said. Many have already done their own research and data-mining before they meet with a broker. They are also less likely than New York-based buyers to gut or make major changes to an existing property, and have recently become interested in pre-war properties as well as brand new ones.

“They’re following what New Yorkers consider luxury,” Lenz said. “And that is pre-war.” [CNBC]Julie Strickland