Archive for December, 2011

Is New York a better investment than London?

Posted by ricardo on 12/4/2011 | |


The recent influx of foreign money into the London prime property market, due to the turmoil in Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East (as the Asian property bubbles start to burst), has fueled steep property price increases. However, it has had a chilling effect on the UK investor, as there is now a dearth of properties available at reasonable prices.

Those investors looking for bargains won’t likely find them in London, since many of the potential victims of the Sovereign Debt Crisis, Arab Spring, and Asian property bubbles have pushed property values higher in the city. Foreign investors won’t blink an eye at spending over £3,000 per square foot for an ideally-located property in Central London. These fearful investors, however, are not looking for high returns on income-producing assets, but, instead, they are focused on the preservation of wealth.

While over the long term, London will always be a grand city and one that will grow in value, over the short and medium terms, UK investors, Sovereign Debt victims, and Asian and Middle Eastern buyers should be looking elsewhere for price growth and decent returns.

New York is a much less expensive option than London and perhaps a more profitable investment, especially in the short and medium terms. For instance, the average price of a condo was $1,200 per square foot and luxury property (top 10% of all sales) was close to $2,000 per square foot, both much lower than comparable Central London properties. Of course, New York does have its own super-prime properties like One5715 CPW and One Beacon Court, to name a few, that can break the bank (at up to $10,000,000 per square foot).

Both the New York City residential and commercial markets have bounced back and are strong and stable. We expect continued growth in the NYC market with the pickup in the economy, which is beginning to show signs of a stable recovery.

Many UK investors (and foreign buyers) would prefer to finance their real estate investments, so they should know that a number of banks offer mortgage financing to foreign nationals in the US. For instance, HSBC Premier has a very favorable foreign buyer program.

Source: Anthony Guerriero and, in part, by Andrew Brecher, a senior partner at Brecher Solicitors nominated by “Property Week” magazine as one of the “Fifty Most Influential People in the UK Property Industry.”


Foreign Buyers Guide


Flats For Sale New York

15 Central Park West Year-End Roundup

Posted by ricardo on 12/4/2011 | |


Just when you thought prices at 15 Central Park West in New York couldn’t go any higher, the ex-CEO of Citibank, Sandy Weill, recently listed his penthouse at 15 CPW for $88 million. According to recent reports, it looks like he found a buyer – after only 3 weeks – at a record-breaking price!

Previously, the highest selling price in the building was for the penthouse owned by William Zeckendorf, one of the developers of the building, which sold for $40 million (or almost $10,000 per square foot) just one year ago, in December, 2010.

The huge success story known as 15 CPW has had a short but storied history. Situated on the site of the old Mayflower Hotel, 15 CPW is a complex consisting of two limestone buildings – the house and the tower – designed by“starchitect”Robert AM Stern. The building’s design pays homage to the old stately buildings that line Central Park West, Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue – taking the best features and adding modern conveniences.

The power elite have chosen this building as their temple of sorts. Building residents include names like Denzel Washington, Sting, Norman Lear, Bob Costas, Jeff Gordon (of NASCAR fame), Lloyd Blankfein (Goldman CEO), Daniel Loeb, Scott Bommer and Daniel Och (top hedge funders), and Zhang Xin and Pan Shiyi, the CEO and Chairman of SOHO China, the largest real estate developer in Beijing. In addition, there are many other heads of industry, financial titans, and celebrities living there. Back in 2009, the New York Post estimated the combined net worth of the buildings’ residents to be close to $50 billion. We wouldn’t be surprised if that number has grown significantly by now!

There are 201 apartments that range from 1-bedroom to 8-bedroom homes. In 2007, the building launched with prices close to an average of $2,500 per sq. ft.; however, those prices quickly jumped to around $4,500 per sq. ft. today, according to Streeteasy. Throughout the recession, prices at 15 Central Park West kept rising.

For prime Central Park views, apartment prices are significantly higher than $4,500 per sq. ft. For example, unit 3-A of the house facing Central Park just closed in September, 2011, for $17 million, or $5,843 per sq. ft.

In contrast, unit 6-L, an interior-facing one bedroom (with no view, except of another 15 CPW building) sold for $4.9 million, or $3,678 per sq. ft. – about three times the average price of a condo in New York during the last quarter.

Other notable sales in the building during 2011 include 27-A, which sold for $24.5 million, or $7,903 per sq. ft. and 26-C, which sold for $16.5 million, or $5,976 per sq. ft.

In addition, the most recent closed sale was for 7-G, which faces Broadway and has a view of Central Park from the master bedroom. This apartment sold for $5,575,000, or $3,173 per sq. ft., perhaps one of the lowest prices in the building.

The remaining closed sales in the building during 2011 were 12-L, sold for $7.5 million, or $3,914 per sq. ft. and 9-M, sold for $9.25 million, or $4,967 per sq. ft.

Three apartments that have sold in 2011, but not yet closed, include: 2-D which had an asking price of $6.85 million, or $3,143 per sq. ft.; 28-D which had an asking price of $25 million, or $7,879 per sq. ft.; and 31-D for $28.75 million, or $9,060 per sq. ft. It will take a few more weeks to see what these units actually sold for, but we expect that the closed prices won’t be too far from the ask.

Finally, there are only two currently available apartments in the building, including 3-F for $8,395,000, or $4,224 per sq. ft. and 3-E for $8,900,000, or $4,168 per sq. ft.

We have been following this building very closely for our buyers over a number of years now and are quite familiar with the building. If you would like to request a showing or further information, including updates on availability, just send us a quick message. And for more info click on the link below.


15 Central Park West Residences For Sale

PRWEB Press Release



Elle Decor Showcases at Paramount Bay During Art Basel Miami

Posted by ricardo on 12/3/2011 | |

This year, during Art Basel in Miami, Elle Decor directed a program to transform the penthouses of the 47-story waterfront condo tower, Paramount Bay. A group of interior designers were selected by Elle Decor to transform an empty 10,000 square foot penthouse into a stunning home with a view. Each designer, most of them from South Florida, were assigned a different room or space at the luxury condo. The designers are Juan Carlos Arcila-Duque, Vincenzo Avanzato, Lars Bolander, Tamzin Greenhill, Wade Allyn Hallock, Larry Laslo, Lynda Murray, Mario Nievera & Keith Williams, James Wall and Deborah Wecselman.

Paramount Bay, which was just launched 60 days ago, has been a great success. It has already sold over 100 properties and raised prices. A few weeks ago Manhattan Miami visited the property. We were quite impressed! See for yourself in the gallery below that includes some shots of the showhouse as well as some other photos we took.

Lenny Kravitz, musician, singer, and, yes, designer, was hired to design the public spaces and outdoor areas of the building. He had previously worked on the Florida Room at the Delano. The public spaces and outdoor areas will be completed early next year.

Please contact us for availability or click on the link below for more info.

Paramount Bay Miami

Miami Luxury Properties For Sale


Posted by ricardo on 12/3/2011 | |

HSBC recently reduced the down payment requirement for Foreign Buyers of second homes in New York City to 30% from 40%. This is quite a testament to the strength of the New York City market. The loan program is dependent upon a number of factors, including certain building criteria. For Miami, the down payment requirement remains at 40% under the same building criteria. If the building criteria are not met, HSBC has another program that would require a 50% down payment. This program is available in both New York City and Miami. HSBC also added a brand-new program that allows foreigners to buy commercial properties with a down payment of 50%.

Foreign nationals make up a significant number of buyers, so it is important for banks like HSBC (and Wells Fargo, to name a few) to provide lending to foreign buyers at reasonable terms.

The combination of record low interest rates, the real estate market recovery and the beginning of a sustained economic recovery make it a great time to finance a purchase of real estate.

To learn more about these programs, see the Mortgage Financing page.