Bigger bonuses boosting Wall Streeters’ home-buying budgets

Brokers say year-end awards taking clients’ purchasing power to the next level
January 16, 2015 04:35PM

After several years of relatively meager Wall Street bonuses, things are starting to turn around, and brokers say that some clients are upping their home-buying budgets after being surprised by generous year-end awards.

Urban Compass agent Cindy Scholz told the New York Times that she has been working with a couple, both of whom work at hedge funds and were searching for apartments in the $2 million range.

When their bonuses turned out to be almost equal to their salaries, “They took off for the holidays and came back and said their budget was $4 million to $5 million,” Sholz said.

Town Residential’s Adam Lynch also had clients looking to buy in the $2 million range, but their bonuses “far exceeded their expectations, and since it was somewhat unexpected, it is almost like found money,” he said. The clients upped their budget to $3 million, the Times reported.

Compensation experts say that bonuses this year will be mixed. Most employers announced bonuses late last year and in the early new year and will be distributing checks over the next few weeks.

Another group that is expected to receive a cash infusion: Wall Street employees who were given deferred compensation in the form of cash and stock options that did not vest for several years. Many of the options will finally vest this month.

Last year, bonuses paid to employees in the securities industry jumped by 15 percent. [NYT] — Tess Hofmann