NYC Real Estate Firms Cater to Chinese Investors

January 20, 2015

The Oosten condos in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, overseen by Xin Development Group of China

It’s no surprise that Chinese investors, who feel that New York City condos and other properties are a safe place for their money, are making major waves in the real estate market, so it makes perfect sense that high-profile real estate firms are tapping Chinese brokers to cater to this growing clientele. These international deals come with many complexities in addition to the traditions and language of the buyer, and having a broker who can easily navigate the process makes closing the deal that much more certain.

Big-name brokerage firms like Douglas Elliman, the Corcoran Group, and Brown Harris Stevens have all hired Chinese nationals to work with the growing number of Asian clients. Park Avenue International Partners, for example, has 12 Chinese-speaking brokers, and since 2001 has brokered more than $1 billion in Manhattan sales to customers from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

As Chinese investors continue to purchase property overseas, they often choose New York City for its international nature and reputation for good schools. Many of these buyers will pay all cash and accommodate their children in the apartments as they attend boarding schools or college in the city. But it’s not all that simple. According to the WSJ, “Chinese nationals are only allowed to convert $50,000 each year to a foreign currency. Some investors get around this by getting family and friends involved. Others rely on Chinese contacts already abroad or use their export-import businesses where quotas on currency exchange are looser, according to lawyers and brokers.” Other idiosyncrasies include a culture that is slower to make decisions and clients who rely on the opinion of their feng shui master. Despite these challenges though, it doesn’t look like the Chinese investment trend will be slowing down any time soon.

[Via WSJ]

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