NEW YORK (MainStreet) When Nataliya and Yuri, a Ukrainian couple who are withholding their last name for privacy purposes, moved to New York four years ago, they purchased a one bedroom apartment on West 28 Street for $900,000. The couple subsequently sold the property for more than $1 million and currently are renting a $4,000 a month one bedroom in the financial district on Spruce Street while they wait to move into a 2-bedroom in Silver Towers at 620 West 42 Street with their 9-month old child.
"We purchased the Chelsea apartment as an investment but haven't found another property we want to buy yet," said Nataliya who operates an advertising business with offices in Ukraine and New York. "We like buildings whose brand name we can trust."
Whether they are from Russia, the Ukraine, China, France or Israel, foreign buyers all have one thing in common. They are attracted to New York, because taxes are lower and down payments are not as expensive as in competing cities like London or Hong Kong, according to Dylan Pichulik, CEO of XL Real Property Management, which manages real estate properties in New York for foreign buyers.
"My Israeli clients are interested in neighborhoods that are shifting and will appreciate, such as Williamsburg, the financial district and Harlem," Pichulik told MainStreet. "Russians like trophy properties with concierge and maid services. The Chinese are attracted to good quality assets like the W, the Setai or Trump, because they are international and have name recognition they can trust."
Nataliya and Yuri are working with Evans Real Estate Investments, a Manhattan- based brokerage that services Eastern Europeans and other foreign buyers.
"Russians like to negotiate, but in a seller's market in New York City it's almost impossible to negotiate and buyers sometimes have to pay over the asking price," said Karina Sagiev, founder and managing partner of Evans Real Estate Investments. "We sit them down and go over the challenges before they even see properties and inform them that they may face competitive situations."