There’s huge pent-up demand among wealthy foreigners to buy property in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities — and some people began calling their money managers as soon as Joe Biden’s victory was announced.
Why it matters: Cities whose economies are withering under the coronavirus may see a fresh jolt of life from the high-end real estate sector in 2021 and beyond, with money from abroad creating new jobs and business opportunities.
Driving the news: It’s been a terrible year for commercial real estate. Foreigners who covet prize properties have been sitting on the sidelines — not only because of the pandemic and travel restrictions, but also because of the Trump administration’s hard line on immigration and foreign ownership of U.S. assets.
- The situation seems to be thawing instantly. Overseas investors are sending out queries for both commercial and residential properties, according to lawyers and asset managers who serve this customer base.
- Wealthy families from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and South America are again starting to shop for high-end homes for their children who want to study or work in the U.S.
- Foreign investors are suddenly making inquiries about the types of properties that the pandemic has practically left for dead: office buildings, retail centers, hotels and hospitality complexes.
‘There’s very much an optimistic feel in the air,” says Edward Mermelstein, CEO and founder of One and Only Holdings, a luxury real estate investment consulting firm in New York that caters to foreign nationals.
- “Everyone is looking at the United States,” he said. “All the high net worth families that we’ve been speaking to in the last few weeks have been saying this in unison.”