Streams

NYC Apartments are the New Swiss Bank Accounts

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Andrew Rice, contributing editor at New York Magazine, looks at New York real estate as "the new Swiss bank account" where foreign buyers are parking their (sometimes ill-gotten) gains.

Guests:

Andrew Rice

Comments [18]

Jay from Upstate from Orange County NY

All I hear is Mr. Rice's constant use of 'you know' and 'uhhh'. Maybe the article is an easier read.

Jul. 08 2014 10:58 AM
suprdupr

who's crying? the previous rich criminal population was getting boring…The godless Europeans are amusing and easy to vic

Jul. 06 2014 08:47 PM
H

Stop crying when free markets come home ! Americans are the preachers of free markets !!

Jul. 06 2014 12:11 PM
Jennifer from New York

Mr. Rice also doesn't mention in his piece that for foreign buyers in NYC, an LLC is the *only* way to buy property because co-ops don't usually cater to foreign nationals. And the majority of apartments for purchase in Manhattan are co-op. Perhaps he should educate himself -- and everyone else -- on the basics of buying real estate before writing sensational pieces about a perfectly normal practice in Manhattan. Of course some deals will may be shady. It happens. And yes, 20 Pine took a BIG hit in 2008-2009. So did a LOT of other buildings. Why didn't he write about those? Just because someone is foreign and buys an investment unit doesn't mean they're laundering money. Seems a little xenophobic and ethnocentric to me.

Jul. 06 2014 09:42 AM
Jennifer from New York

This piece is ridiculous, and poor journalism. There is *absolutely* nothing new, or even illegal, about buying an apartment under an LLC. For a lot of people it makes a lot of sense for tax purposes. Any industry, when large numbers are involved, will have some shady dealings. But to infer that foreign buyers are taking advantage of this practice and that certain groups, namely Russians, are the worst offenders? It's a sophomoric argument at best. This piece reeks of sour grapes of a New York writer priced out of Manhattan and forced to live in Brooklyn.

Jul. 06 2014 09:28 AM
Francesca Turchiano from Norfolk, CT

We're in our 70s, worked and saved for 90 years, planned to move back to our hometown, Manhattan, after a stupid move to the country. Economically, we're in the top 5% and not rich enough to rent buy in Manhattan! It's the end of a love affair. Mayor DeBlasio is contributing to a worsening of the housing bubble and crisis on several levels. Massachusetts here we come to volunteer and otherwise contribute. And one more thing, reinforcing someone else's comment, renting in NY means living in fear of huge increases if your over $2,000 a month, which is low for Manhattan. Too damn stressfu!

Jul. 03 2014 11:50 AM

Hey, the US worships ownership rights for any and all, has a constitution that worships freedom, rule of law, huge capacity for population growth, relatively cheap land prices (compared to China and India), and prints the world's currency. A huge army protects these features at the border.

If you are an Arab, Russian, Chinese or someone from another geographic region that stands for none of those features, and you have money, you'd really have to be an idiot not to buy US real estate here.

Jul. 03 2014 11:28 AM
Eileen from Hudson County NJ

This has been happening in Jersey City for the past couple of years. An Australian investment company called Dixon Advisory has been buying up properties in Hudson County, primarily in the Greenville section of JC, a lower-income neighborhood, but also in Union City, WNY, and Hoboken. It is almost impossible to buy a small 3-4 unit building because this investment company steps in with cash for an above asking price. To read more and see what properties they are buying go here:

http://www.usmastersresidential.com.au/about_the_fund.htm

What does a neighborhood look like when the majority of it's properties are owned by absentee landlords who have no connection to the community beyond a return on their financial investment? What happens to lower-income renters who have landlords who are simply looking for as large a return on their investment as they can get? This begs the question: is a roof over one's head something that someone should feel entitled to, or is the roof over someone's head an opportunity to make a killing? Old school landlords bought buildings and realized a profit would be made over years. Smaller landlords usually bought and rented while having their tenants rents help to defer their mortgage. These investors expect huge profits and if that means kicking out their tenants, doing a shabby re-hab (or not) and renting for 3-4 times the previous rents, that's what will happen.

This is an extension of the banks who caused the housing/real estate crisis cashing in on it. Maybe this was their plan all along?

Jul. 03 2014 10:40 AM
Linda Griggs

Can we get some of those investors into a town where it could do some good?
Like Asbury Park, NJ. Beach town with arts and a ghetto full of absentee landlords.
Wish the artists going upstate would come in - use NJ transit. No car needed.
But if they don't want to get hip to it then I'll take some rich Euros renovating, adding a security system, and not hanging out.

Jul. 03 2014 10:29 AM
Keshan

A lot of this also has to do with cheap and hot money looking for a place to be parked. Central banks around the world are printing money trying to create inflation both to show growth and to stealthily reduce debts. This money is finding a home in real-estate investments in international markets.

Jul. 03 2014 10:27 AM
AARON from Brooklyn Navy Yard

Mr. Rice repeated the same misunderstanding about the construction industry. The subsidies were intended to create jobs in "the construction industry." Actually, we already have 3.4 million housing units in NYC. We are only building 200,000 more. The jobs to build them only last a few weeks or months, where as existing housing employs far more people for far longer.

Home Improvement workers are not well paid, yet we are the majority of construction jobs. The city would do better to achieve better existing housing and improve the too often unsatisfactory home improvement industry, not just give the money to the wealthy.

Jul. 03 2014 10:26 AM
Alan from 150 Varick

Peace out, I'm moving to LA!!!

Jul. 03 2014 10:21 AM
Fishmael from NYC

Great story, *BUT* - the vast majority of NYC people are renters. This has been, so far, mostly about people shopping to buy apartments. This show's coverage is consistently biased towards "regular New Yorkers" - most of whom are *not* shopping for Brooklyn brownstones.

How about digging into the impact on renters - for instance, how are they able to eject tenants and convert rent-stabilized apartments?

Jul. 03 2014 10:17 AM
JD from London, UK

I'm listening from London and the same issue is very much in the news on this side of the Atlantic. Many prime London properties in central London are owned by foreign investors and it's putting tremendous pressure on the real estate market in general, pushing up prices in every London neighborhood.

It's reported that London prices have risen 25% in the past year and the price of an average property is at an all time high.

Jul. 03 2014 10:16 AM
Keshan

sorry for the repeated post, the website seemed unresponsive.

Jul. 03 2014 10:12 AM
Keshan

This feeds into the later segment on the budget. The city will look the other way on this type of thing as long as the transfer and increasing real-estate taxes come flooding in. If they don't say goodbye to those already overly rosy budget projections. They have very little thought about the rest of us, or they would remove height restrictions on areas like the far west side and get as much inventory on the market as possible.

Jul. 03 2014 10:11 AM
Seth

And then people are surprised that we don't have enough affordable housing. shocking.

Jul. 03 2014 10:11 AM
Keshan

This feeds into the later segment on the budget. The city will look the other way on this type of thing as long as the transfer and increasing real-estate taxes come flooding in. If they don't say goodbye to those already overly rosy budget projections. They have very little thought about the rest of us, or they would remove height restrictions on areas like the far west side and get as much inventory on the market as possible.

Jul. 03 2014 10:10 AM

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