NYC real estate usurps gold as “instrument” for store of wealth

Falling gold price, advent of ETFs tilt balance to real estate: BlackRock chair

Laurence Fink
BlackRock chair Laurence Fink and gold bullion (credit: Wikimedia)

New York City real estate has surpassed gold as an “instrument” for the store of wealth, according to head of one of the world’s biggest asset managers.

Apartments in Manhattan and other cities like London and Vancouver, as well as contemporary art, have usurped gold’s traditional role as an “instrument for the storing of wealth,” BlackRock chair Laurence Fink told the 2015 Credit Suisse Megatrends conference in Singapore on Tuesday.

The median sale price for existing condos in Manhattan reached a six-year high of $1.3 million in the first quarter, according to Corcoran Group, while bullion posted its first back-to-back annual drop since 2000 last year and has dropped 38 percent since peaking in 2011, Bloomberg reports.

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The advent of gold-backed ETFs, meanwhile, “made it much easier to own gold and it really democratizes gold,” Fink noted.

Sovereign wealth funds made north of $2 billion in Manhattan real estate deals in 2014, The Real Deal reported this month. [Bloomberg]Rey Mashayekhi