March.2015, The Year of the Chinese Investor



March 03, 2015 10:45AM   The Real Deal
By E.B. Solomont

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For more than two decades, China’s most populated city, Shanghai, has experienced a building frenzy unlike any other: Developers have built office buildings in the city of 24 million as far as the eye can see, including skyscrapers like the under-construction Shanghai Tower, one of the tallest in the world.

But increasingly, Chinese developers and investors are looking elsewhere to build. And a fast-growing number are setting their eyes on New York.

Chinese investors pumped more than $3 billion into the New York real estate market last year. That was nearly 43 percent more than they invested in 2013. And it appears to just be the tip of the iceberg.

With China’s economy cooling, investors are throwing their money into deals in New York. And it’s not just individual Chinese buyers snapping up condo units these days. Institutional players, investors and developers, who’ve made a splash buying trophy buildings over the past two years, are not only continuing to ramp up purchases, but also are accelerating their involvement in condo development and looking for developable New York land.

“There’s a whole lot of capital in Asia that wants to be invested [here],” said Kevin Swill, chief operating officer of the New York-based Carlton Group, a real estate investment banking firm. “They look to the U.S., even with ups and downs, and it’s still the most stable real estate market in the world.” …..