The New British Invasion
Posted on Nov 18, 2007
With the dollar getting weaker all the time, the ailing housing market is getting a little relief from an unexpected source: foreigners. Brits in particular have been tempted by bargain homes in glamorous locales such as Manhattan, where one-third of all new condominiums are selling to foreign buyers.
Maria Crotty, 39, has done well out of the dollar crisis. She had owned a two-bedroom flat in north London. She sold it and banked the cash. While it sat in the bank as she shopped for an American property, she watched the pound rise, bringing her thousands of unexpected dollars. ‘It changed about 25 cents on the pound while the money was in the bank,’ she said.
Crotty, a Sheffield-born finance director of a Manhattan video-streaming company, eventually used the cash to buy a four-bedroom house on Shelter Island, an idyllic spot off Long Island close to the Hamptons, where New York’s rich and famous play. Crotty’s neighbours include design guru Jonathan Adler and international hotelier Andre Balazs. She rents a flat in Manhattan and spends weekends on Shelter Island.
‘It beats north London. I now have my own land with trees and deer. My old home back in London was an ex-council flat,’ she said.