AgentMarkets & Economy

NY expert says foreign real estate investors changing strategy

Investors shifting from vanity to income-producing properties
  • International real estate attorney Edward Mermelstein says foreign buyers are shifting focus.
  • Due to the slump in crude oil prices, foreign investors are changing their strategies.
  • While the US is still considered a far safer place to invest, international buyers are looking for income-producing properties.

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The slide in global oil prices has set up a dynamic that has changed the goal of foreign real estate investors who buy in the US. Edward Mermelstein, managing partner of RheemBell & Mermelstein, LLC, has represented high-net-worth international investors, developers, and a range of financial institutions in private equity, commercial, and residential real estate transactions for the past 20 years. He says that investors from countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Saudi Arabia are changing their strategies when looking at investing in U.S. properties. He sees the same behavior in investors from Mexico and Central America, too. ‘The high-end residential buildings that depend on wealthy overseas buyers have seen a substantial drop off in a short period of time,” Mermelstein said. There were not a large number of buildings that are affected, he added. In New York, those penthouses and whole floors would fetch $4,000 a square foot; in Miami, they go fo...