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Asian buyers lead rush for luxury New York condos, Moinian Group says

Moinian Group aims to tap growing demand with sale ofUS$44m penthouse at its luxury W New York Downtown Hotel and Residences

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 November, 2013, 4:40am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 December, 2013, 5:07pm

Asian buyers, including those from China, continue to pour billions of US dollars into selected luxury residential projects in New York, according to Mitchell Moinian, senior vice-president of the Moinian Group.

The group, which owns and manages US$10 billion of assets - including offices, hotels and retail space - says Asian buyers accounted for more than half of all sales at its last release of a condominium building on New York's 42nd Street in 2009.

"I also live in the building and more than 50 per cent of the residents are Asians. Many of my neighbours and friends come from different cities in China and some are Korean," said Moinian. Armed with ample cash, Chinese companies have spent billions of dollars on real estate in New York since September, he added.

State-owned Greenland Holdings completed one of the big-ticket deals last month when it agreed to pay about US$3 billion for a 70 per cent stake in Atlantic Yards, the largest development project in Brooklyn with up to 6,430 apartments.

Last month, Fosun Group beat several competing New York-based developers to take over the office tower 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza for US$750 million.

"Lots of our buyers from China just bought the apartments over the phone," said Moinian, who is the son of the group's founder Joseph Moinian. "They say their sons or daughters are going to university in New York, and they wanted to buy an apartment for them, which they can also use when they visit."

To tap the growing demand for high-end apartments among Asian buyers, Moinian will offer an 11,500 sq ft penthouse on the top floors (55th and 56th) of the W New York Downtown Hotel and Residences for US$44 million.

The penthouse has a full sea view and a view of the Statue of Liberty. The development was completed in 2010 and its branded hotel and residences are managed by W Hotel.

It comprises 217 hotel rooms from the first to the 32nd floor, and 222 luxury condominiums from the 33rd to 56th floors.

"We will consider selling the top two floors separately if buyers prefer to buy a one-floor unit instead of the two-floor penthouse," said Moinian. In addition, the group will also release "a few" furnished studio flats of 450 sq ft to 500 sq ft each for US$1 million, and regular flats from 800 sq ft to 1,300 sq ft for between US$2 million to US$3 million.

The selling prices would be about US$2,000 per sq ft, which Moinian said compared to prices of around US$4,000 per sq ft being pitched for other new projects still under construction.