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British and Russian Buyers Dominate NYC Real Estate Searches, Study Says

By Amy Zimmer | February 22, 2017 9:50am | Updated on February 22, 2017 2:46pm
 A view of Manhattan's east side, with the copper-tinted Trump World Tower a few blocks north of the United Nations.
A view of Manhattan's east side, with the copper-tinted Trump World Tower a few blocks north of the United Nations.
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DNAInfo/Amy Zimmer

The British and Russians often dream of moving to the Big Apple, while Mexicans are pulling back, according to tech-focused real estate brokerage TripleMint.

The New York-based startup looked at the locations of international visitors searching its website for New York City rentals and sales in 2015 and 2016 and found that the U.K. ranked No. 1 for the past two years in percentage of searches.

The biggest mover was Russia, which jumped from No. 20 for searches in 2015 to No. 2 last year. The second biggest mover was Mexico, which fell from the No. 9 spot in 2015 down to No. 18.

“It’s interesting to look at this from the social lens of how media affects search traffic,” TripleMint CEO David Walker said. “Two of the countries that have been in the media a lot had the biggest change in rankings.”

Both Russia and Mexico featured prominently in the presidential election.

Russia dominated headlines during the election for possible connections to President Donald Trump, who in July asked the country to help find emails deleted from fellow candidate Hillary Clinton’s server. Mexico was in the spotlight after Trump said he would make the country pay for the wall he planned to build along its border with the U.S.

The number of searches from the U.K. spiked more than 30 percent in 2016, with the majority of the increase coming in the 4 days after the Brexit referendum to leave the European Union, Walker said.

He cited a few possible reasons that the U.K. consistently ranks first. As two of the biggest cities for business in the world, there’s a strong New York/London connection. Also, there are a lot of ex-pats living in London, who might be returning home, as well as a lot of international people living in London, who might be interested in New York, too, he said.

On top of that, there appeared to be a Brexit effect immediately after the vote, and many brokers have been seeing an influx in Brits to New York over the past year.

“There’s a really strong tie between London and the U.S., whether it’s cultural similarities, business connections or the high number of ex-pats between both countries,” Walker said. “Even though it’s not that big of a country, it consistently ranks as No. 1.”

Other countries that remained consistent in the top 10 included Canada, India, France, the Philippines, Australia and Germany, TripleMint found.

TripleMint, which had been called Suitey until it rebranded in 2015, declined to say how many total searches it received over the course of the two years it analyzed.