Having doubled off the post-PBOC-ban-and-Fed-Taper lows, Bitcoin, trading at USD910 currently is becoming increasingly ubiquitous as a payment method for many businesses. The latest, as NY Post reports, is Manhattan-based real-estate broker Bond New York, is "using Bitcoins to help facilitate transactions." With overseas money-laundering as a key support, and Manhattan apartment sales setting a record in Q4 for volume of transactions (+27% YoY), we suspect the acceptance of Bitcoin will merely ease the Chinese (or Russian) ability to transfer funds directly into NYC housing - blowing an even bigger bubble.
The bitcoin has gained a foothold in one of the hottest business sectors in the country: Manhattan real estate.
Bond New York, a Manhattan-based real estate broker, has started accepting the digital currency for real estate transactions, The Post has learned.
Bond New York believes it is the first real estate brokerage firm to accept bitcoin.
“Real estate brokerage is a service industry,” said Noah Freedman, a co-founder of Bond New York. “Our job is to make real estate transactions easy for our customers. Bitcoins are just another mechanism to help people facilitate transactions.”
Several larger real estate brokers are not sold on the idea and have no plans to set up bitcoin accounts any time soon.
“We don’t accept them, and we have no plans to accept them,” Pam Liebman, CEO of the Corcoran Group, said Friday. “We prefer the American dollar.”
“Bitcoins could be here today and gone tomorrow,”
But it is that perspective that could indeed be lost on the burgeoning foreign interest in moving money overseas (into US real estate)... (as we noted in September)
In August 2012, when isolating one of the various reasons for the latest housing bubble, we suggested that a primary catalyst for the price surge in the ultra-luxury housing segment and the seemingly endless supply of "all cash" buyers (standing at an unprecedented 60% of all buyers lately as reported by Goldman) is a very simple one: crime. Or rather, the use of US real estate as a means to launder illegal offshore-procured money. We also identified the one key permissive feature which allowed this: the National Association of Realtors' exemption from Anti-Money Laundering provisions. In other words, all a foreign oligarch - who may or may not have used chemical weapons in their past: all depends on how recently they took their picture with the Secretary of State - had to do to buy a $47 million Florida house, was to get the actual cash to the US. Well good thing there are private jets whose cargo is never checked.
But now, with the acceptance of Bitcoin, we would imagine the "funds" transfer process is even easier... blowing what is already a bubble... (via Bloomberg)
Manhattan apartment sales surged in 4Q, setting a record for yr-end transactions, as prospect of rising interest rates and prices pushed buyers to make deals before purchases became costlier.
Sales of condos and co-ops jumped 27% from yr earlier to 3,297, highest 4Q total in 25 yrs of record-keeping, according to report from Miller Samuel Inc. and Douglas Elliman Real Estate
“There’s a concern that homeownership will be more expensive and therefore the time to act apparently is now,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel
Median price of Manhattan transactions that closed in 4Q climbed 2.1% to $855,000
Into an even bigger one...