British property investors are taking a long, hard look at the New York property market. With the dollar at a 20-year-low, for British investors with pounds in their pocket, the Big Apple just got a whole lot cheaper. According to the Financial Times, Steven Toumbas, an equities investor from London, has always wanted to own a second home in the US. “America is the engine for the world,” he says. “Everyone wants to have a holiday home in Florida, or an asset in New York. It’s the place to be.”
Mr Toumbas began looking at potential properties in New York City in mid-June 2006, but felt the timing was not quite right. The pound at that point was trading at about $1.84. “I held back because I thought there would be further dollar weakness,” he said.
New York is not the only market attracting British investors, both Florida and Las Vegas property markets have suffered serious downturns, forcing prices to drop. Some newly built developments are selling as much as twenty percent lower than two years ago. Combined with a strong pound and weak dollar, it’s easy to see why these are good looking prospects. A 600 sq ft studio unit in a five-star condo hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach was selling last year for about $625,000. The same units are now being resold for $475,000-$550,000.
It’s noy just the British who see the US market as a good investment. With the Euro rising 15% against the dollar last year, many Europeans are moving in also. According to the National Association of Realtors, almost 20% of realtors sold a home to an international client in the past year, nearly a third of them European.
Don’t expect a smash and grab profit though; it seems the US crash has nowhere near bottomed out and our advice is to look at these as a more long term investment. This is definitely not a flippers market right now.