Key Highlights

  • Buyers in post-pandemic countries looking at US and UK for luxury bargains
  • Think luxury supply markets such as New York, Miami, Los Angeles and London
  • International buyers thinking US real estate “on sale”

Founder of the Los Angeles-based The Agency, Mauricio Umansky told Mansion Global that he had sold three homes, sight unseen, to Chinese investors during the COVID pandemic. Umansky said, “There’s certainly a perception among international buyers that now is a good time to buy US real estate because it’s ‘on sale.’ Any time there’s a drop in the market, you see outside investors wanting to put money into the US, because it’s still the strongest market.”

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Nikki Field, a senior global real estate adviser with Sotheby’s International Realty in New York, couldn’t agree more. She began focusing her wealth adviser contacts in South Korea, Mainland China and Portugal during early April as those parts of the world began emerging from the pandemic. Such international investors, according to Field, “…want prime luxury condo new developments because that’s the biggest opportunity for long term return.”

South Florida, specifically Miami, is seeing an uptick in international interest from investors from Columbia, Mexico and Venezuela not only as a property investment but also as a home base.

For investors interested in London, the UK has an attraction the US does not…its current exchange rate. According to Camilla Dell, founder and managing partner of Black Brick Property Solutions in London, said, “For investors, there’s a huge advantage to (buying) the dip. Central London was already down -20% from its peak (in 2014) and the pound is weak, effectively giving dollar-based buyers a 45% discount.”

International buyers looking for COVID price discounts may or may not find them stateside but they likely will find a friendly, favorable atmosphere for value-added negotiations related to overall cost concessions. Essentially, according to MansionGlobal, “any offer that shifts expenses from the buyer to the seller is fair game.” (Yet another reason, agents and brokers, to sharpen your outside-the-box-thinking and your negotiation skills.)

Field, the global real estate advisor with Sotheby’s, said, “…it’s not just the 35% off the asking price, it’s the 35% off the complete cost…(covering) the mansion tax (in New York), finishing closets, crediting back many months of common charges, all the developers’ costs. Those aren’t recorded, but the transfer price is obviously higher, and the credits are deeply attractive to buyers.”

Wherever international buyers are looking, there are more of them looking today than there were last month and there will be more of them looking next month than now. The clock is ticking…be proactive with your clients.


Thanks to MansionGlobal.

Also read: Resilient & Vulnerable Cities Lead to Resilient & Vulnerable Real Estate Investing, according to Unison, Podcast: Finding The “Hidden’ Homes For Sale | Tim and Julie Harris, NY State Evictions Moratorium Expires & Housing Courts Reopen

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