Art | August 28, 2021 6:00 am

How Will Fewer Chinese Buyers Affect NYC’s Real Estate Market?

How are developers reacting?

New York City skyline
A shift in buying habits could affect NYC real estate.
Mathilde Paret/Unsplash

During the pandemic, a series of tumultuous and ongoing events had a significant impact on where people wanted to live and how they made real estate purchases. In its most noticeable manifestation, this resulted in available rural real estate dropping, as people — some alarmed by the pandemic, others embracing remote work — opted to head to a less crowded part of the country.

But domestic buyers weren’t the only people whose buying habits changed during the pandemic. A new article by Rong Xiaoqing in Curbed cites a recent study that shows that Chinese nationals, previously the top overseas buyers of American real estate, had dropped to third on the list behind Canadians and Mexicans.

Xiaoqing’s article cites a host of factors, from the Trump administration’s rhetoric to a relatively long wait needed to get a green card. For some prospective buyers, the number of reasons to look elsewhere for real estate began to outweigh the appeal of living in the United States..

Some developers in New York City who had been looking to target affluent Chinese buyers have opted to rethink their strategy in light of this. Real estate in the city remains somewhat popular in that market — just not as much as it was before.

Other developers have seen the reduced presence of this market in New York as a blessing. The NYC-based developer Bentley Zhao of New Empire alluded to having to compete with Chinese buyers seeking to purchase land. “We couldn’t afford the bidding war,” Zhao told Curbed.

As with many things involving real estate, there’s little set in stone — and a drop in the last year might see a rise the following year, or be indicative of a larger trend. And at least for now, New York’s real estate market seems as competitive as ever.