End the duopoly

Real estate sales sink as foreign buyers shy away from shaky political climate in U.S.

Luxury real estate has seen a dramatic downturn this year, as punitive new tax laws and a retreat by foreign buyers sent prices spiraling to recession-era levels in some markets.

Foreign buyers — who have helped fuel the push in premium homes — are on the wane. According to the National Association of Realtors, the dollar volume of foreign purchases from April 2018 to March 2019 was down 36 percent from the same period a year before. The number of foreign buyers dropped by 31 percent.

The reasons include limits on taking cash out of foreign countries, anti-corruption laws taking effect, market saturation, rising property prices, and concern about the stability of the U.S.

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The New York City real estate market has slowed significantly, said Pierre Debbas, managing partner of real estate law firm Romer Debbas. “Deal volume across the city is down at least 25 percent,” he said.

The average price for a Manhattan apartment fell by 14 percent last quarter, according to a report from real estate appraisers Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel.


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