A “Chinese story” in Manhattan’s housing market

Alia | March 26th, 2013 - 5:12 am

Thus goes the tile of a special CCTV (China Central Television) report on a Chinese mom who bought a USD $6.5 million apartment near the 5th Avenue in Manhattan for her 2-year-old daughter. The purchase is said to be a preparation for the little girl’s future college life in the Big Apple.

CCTV  journalist in New York went to interview Kevin Brown, a realtor from Sotheby’s who closed the multi-million deal. Here are some highlights of what he said.

“We are running around the city, looking at things…and I finally said why exactly are you buying. She said that it had to do with her daughter, who is going to Columbia, or NYU, maybe Harvard. So she needed to be in the center of the city.”

Image how Kevin felt when he found out later that “the daughter” was only 2 years old.

To Kevin, there is no doubt that many affluent Chinese have their eyes on New York, one of the most expensive real estate market in the world. Chinese buyers account for a quarter of his total dollar volume. The number was only 15% two years ago, and 5% before that.

Together with cash, Chinese buyers also bring in their own taste for a property. As Calvin described: “They want to be by Central Park. Interestingly, they aren’t that interested in the park views. They want southern exposure.”

The CCTV clip also cited statistics from American National Association of Realtors that in 2012, Chinese buyers spent about $9 billion in the US housing market. Of the 2%-3% of market that is sold to foreigners, 11% goes to Chinese buyers, especially at the higher-end of the market.

While the New York realtors said they were happy about a growing number of Chinese buyers in the market, Chinese netizens seem to care about only one thing: “Where does the money come from?”

Needless to say, many netizens suspected that the woman who splashed out $6.5 million was a family member of a corrupt official. Like netizen Liybobo commented: “They [corrupt officials] took the Chinese people’s money and buy houses in the US.”

Others dropped their jaws at the impossible-to-cross gap between the rich and the poor in today’s China. Netizen 一际闪烁的星光 sighed: “I cannot even afford an apartment in China.”

Clip from CCTV

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2 Responses to “A “Chinese story” in Manhattan’s housing market”

  1. [...] πανεπιστημιακών σπουδών του παιδιού. Το Offbeat China μετέφρασε το ρεπορτάζ [en], το οποίο αναφέρεται σ’ αυτό στο πλαίσιο της [...]

  2. [...] her two-year daughter, in preparation for her daughter's college life in NYC. Offbeat China has translated the [...]

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