One of the top questions my international clients ask is, “How does New York’s luxury real estate market compare with top international markets?” While New York luxury real estate’s top-end has shown some cooling in recent months due to over-supply above $10M, demand continues for luxury homes (especially 3+ bedrooms) priced between $3 and $5 million.
Despite a strong dollar, New York is still an attractive buy for foreign investors versus other top global markets, given New York’s political and economic stability and more affordable prices. At the same time, expect savvy US-based investors to explore expanding their global portfolios.
For buyers and investors from China who can expatriate funds, US and New York real estate continue to be strong beacons of hope. While the dollar has risen against China’s Yuan, the Yuan’s overall loss of buying power in the US has been muted, especially in comparison to Russian, Brazilian and Australian currencies.
Stamp Duties Dampen London, Hong Kong Drops 10%
Watch these markets in the coming months:
London: A new, tiered Stamp Duty scheme is depressing London luxury sales, as buyers are put off by the prospect of paying huge tax bills. The drop is especially significant in the central London boroughs of Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster, where sales volume plunged 26.9 percent and 25.6 percent respectively, according to the latest analysis from Knight Frank
. The economic slowdown in China and Russia is also impacting luxury buyers, who are reluctant to invest in a market that’s considered by some analysts to be over-priced (not to mention highly taxed now).
While Stamp Duties dampened the luxury real estate market, areas like Shoreditch, Battersea, and other formerly working-class/industrial neighborhoods are rapidly transforming into mixed-used residential/commercial hubs. Not only are properties in these areas less expensive (which means lower stamp duties), they’re also in transitional communities, making them smart long-term investments.
Hong Kong: With housing prices down 9.5 percent since their September 2015 peak and January’s monthly sales falling to the lowest level since at least 1991, according to Bloomberg
, Hong Kong’s market may be teetering on the edge. Pressure from rising interest rates and increasing home supply are depressing prices in the luxury real estate market. Foreign investors looking for a rock-bottom deal may want to sit it out a bit longer, however, as the downward slump could further depress home prices by five to 10 percent this year. Some developers are holding off on releasing properties, waiting to see whether the drop-off is seasonal (Chinese New Year) or truly foreshadowing what may be coming in 2016.
Paris: Paris is a rapidly emerging European tech hub. At this year’s CES in Las Vegas, 120 French companies were represented versus 30 companies from other European nations. Watch for new mixed-use development in the 13th to 19th arrondissements to meet creative/tech sector demand.