Domestic Buyers Take on Foreign Spending Habits

American buyers are shelling out big bucks for Manhattan condosWhile the massive purchases of Manhattan real estate by foreign buyers have been hot topics on New Construction Manhattan, the domestic buying market is finally stepping up its game. Looking at the numbers, seven of the twelve Manhattan homes selling for more than $35 million went to Americans since 2010, and this pace is expected to remain steady. American buyers have been closing deals for Manhattan’s most expensive apartments, with a recent transaction by a domestic purchaser being cited as the second-most expensive sale in city history. It's time to recognize that the conversation about ultra-wealthy internationals pushing the envelope of high-end sales of Manhattan condos should include home-grown buyers too.

To begin with, this $70 million apartment, a 10,882-square-foot unit, was purchased by casino mogul Steve Wynn back in May. Initially listed for $77.5 million, the 50 Central Park South apartment sits above the Ritz-Carlton hotel, and boasts 14 rooms, along with an 80-foot terrace that faces the park.

A Fifth Avenue duplex penthouse closed for just over $40 million, despite a $36 million asking price. Located at 2 E. 70th Street, the buyer had dual French and U.S. citizenship and was married to an American when the transaction occurred. Additionally, two Upper East Side properties - 730 Park Avenue and 973 Fifth Avenue - have just gone into contract with American buyers for upwards of $30 million each.

In terms of sales that have yet to be made, the co-op building at 944 Fifth Avenue has just listed a full-floor apartment with a $50 million asking price. The apartment has over-the-tree views of Central Park, a perk that will assist the unit in selling for such a significant sum. Additionally, its 5,000 square feet and modern attributes give the apartment a unique feel in a pre-war building, and the sale also includes a guest apartment on the ground floor which offers visitors a private street entrance.

Like foreign buyers have found, Americans are completing these transactions because New York luxury properties are considered a safe haven for their money. With the economy’s current turbulence, investing in Manhattan apartments not only provides the owner with a trophy-worthy place to live, but also long-term equity.