When Irish Eyes Are Buying

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Photo: Getty Images

We're used to our Dublin friend's many sisters hitting Fifth Avenue for weekend shopping trips — "because everything's so affordable," they say. Now it seems the Irish regard for Manhattan as a colossal bargain bin extends to real estate. The combination of the economic miracle known as the Celtic Tiger and the weak dollar has made for an entirely new class of condo buyer: the recreational Irish investor. Unlike the Saudis or Japanese, who tend to cause nativist paranoia every time they buy a trophy skyscraper or storied hotel, the Irish are keeping a somewhat low profile, with individual buyers partial to smallish apartments in unfinished high-rises; owning a pied-à-terre in Manhattan, apparently, is becoming a kind of upper-middle-class Dublin cliché. The Irish eye for real estate is even starting to figure into developers' plans: Esplanade Capital, reports the Times, is planning to unload an entire 43-story condo onto a Dublin company that will then handle the unit-by-unit sales locally. Hey, they built this city, they may as well own it.

An Irish Taste for Real Estate in Manhattan [NYT]