Edward Mermelstein, a real estate attorney in New York City who has Chinese clients, said he has seen little change in real estate purchases from Chinese buyers in recent weeks and months. The downturn in China’s stock markets began in mid-June, but Chinese investment in U.S. property has continued as usual, Mermelstein said.
“Chinese investors are going to be looking for returns similar to what they were getting in China over the last five years,” he said. “There are very few places they can achieve those returns.”
In the 12 months that ended in March, Chinese buyers bought $28.6 billion in U.S. real estate, up from $22 billion the year before, a NAR report published in June showed. New York was one of the top six locations, accounting for about 7 percent of Chinese purchases, and it is growing ever more popular, with Chinese investment in Big Apple properties skyrocketing in the past year.
In the first half of 2015, Chinese buyers, both individuals and companies, spent more than $3.8 billion on real estate in Manhattan — more than three times their total spending on such properties in 2014, according to Real Capital Analytics, the New York Daily News reported. They tend to buy prime, luxury real estate, Mermelstein said.
“We’re seeing typically the highest end locations, so anything surrounding Central Park is extremely popular,” he said. Also desirable are luxury residences and commercial properties along major avenues in Manhattan. Chinese investors have recently bought such big names as the Waldorf Astoria and One Chase Manhattan Plaza.