With Canada having closed the door on the cash-for-canadian-citizenship housing bubble blowing machine, it seems the Russian oligarch sanctions have left a gaping window for the Chinese to swoop and spend their billions. As Reuters reports, for the first time in history, wealthy Chinese top wealthy Russians are the biggest buyers of Manhattan real estate. It seems Manhattan real estate will always be home to some desperate capital flow, money-laundering 1%-ers cash - no matter what the price.
It wasn't so long ago that Russian oligarchs dominated the world of real estate, buying status-heavy apartments like the $88 million dollar Robert A.M. Stern penthouse. Now, Russian activity in the real estate market has dropped off since the unrest in Ukraine, and the U.S. imposing sanctions on Russia.
The time is right for the Chinese to buy, according to real estate brokers at Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
"...there is a lot of ease up on the visa coming to visit in the United States and as well as the rise of the middle class wanting to establish their American dream..."
"In our own business we're seeing almost a 50 percent of an increase compared to five years ago. I mean Chinese is a culture that we love to have tangible assets and real estate being one of them. So this is something that's not just in New York. We just like to buy real estate." The current hot commodity for Chinese buyers in the Big Apple is Central Park's One57. Here, they can spend $18.85 million for a three-bedroom or $55 million for an apartment taking up the entire 81st floor. The building comes with all of the amenities of a five-star hotel.