Hailing from Russia, South Korea, England, Ireland and other countries, brokers say foreign buyers purchase the properties for use as homes, investments, and as vacation destinations, often using the apartments just a small portion of the year. Even the buyers who previously wanted small pied-à-terres are now snapping up larger apartments with their more valuable foreign currency, brokers say.
Weak Dollar Fuels City Real Estate
And from the NY Times:
But brokers said that co-ops are also depressing their own prices because their boards require so much liquidity and assets that many buyers from overseas and people who work in finance are instead choosing condos. Hall Willkie, the president of Brown Harris Stevens, said that foreign buyers, especially Russians, have been snapping up sprawling multimillion-dollar condominiums. “In the past, a lot bought pied-à-terres,” he said. “We see a lot of foreign buyers are buying very large apartments.”
Co-ops Slip, but Condos Lead Rise in Manhattan Apartment Prices
They also choose condos because they would probably not be approved by co-op boards, which often demand full-time residence. Pamela Liebman, the president of the Corcoran Group, said buyers also prefer the conveniences of new buildings and the perks like concierges who can “stock my refrigerator, get my theater tickets and have my dog groomed.” The dazzle of living in a new building doesn’t hurt either, she said. “New, new, new — all of the foreign buyers love that.”
It appears that we are in a building frenzy so that rich foreign people can live here part time. They probably also contribute to the "9 million people by 2030" estimate. As long as they pay their taxes so that Bloomie can keep Manhattan looking good and parts of Queens looking like a third world country.