Another wave of Manhattan luxury condos are about to become pieds-a-terres, as the recent election in France is prompting the country's wealthiest members to invest in property overseas. New Construction Manhattan has extensively covered international sweeps through the New York real estate market, detailing everything from Irish buyers taking over Midtown, to the high number of Brazilians moving into the city. France is now expected to join the ranks, and these serious, driven buyers are sure to make an impression on the market.
Earlier this month, France elected the socialist François Hollande as president, much to the chagrin of the wealthy. France currently holds $1.3 trillion in Euro debt, and Hollande’s campaign promised to tax anyone with an income over 1 million Euros at 75 percent. Taxing will begin this summer, and as a result, France’s wealthier classes are reluctant to invest in their own country’s real estate or stock market.
Although French buyers are also searching for real estate in Great Britain and Switzerland, many are finding New York properties to be the best option for future investments. Unlike the Russian oligarchs with expendable budgets that we have recently seen, French buyers are more active among properties priced between $500,000 and $5 million. They are also turning to condos with fractional occupancy, like the Trump SoHo; here, people can live in purchased space for up to 120 days a year, and then have it rented as a hotel suite while they are not there.
So far, brokers are finding that although French buyers are taking purchasing seriously, they are not the quickest group to act upon a transaction. While the Trump SoHo expects the French election to affect their number of condo sales, but they have yet to see a French buyer. Additional buildings expecting impact are Setai Fifth Avenue and The Sheffield in Midtown West. Overall, it is clear that many people from Europe want to put their money in the United States, and whether New York sees an influx of French residents will highly depend on the France's economic situation.