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550 Vanderbilt a poster child for investor condos, but the story's more complicated

From Bloomberg, 6/27/18, Investors Are Piling In to NYC Condos at a Record Pace:
At a new luxury-condo building in Brooklyn, one buyer told broker Ryan Serhant that she’d like three apartments -- one for herself to live in, and two as investments to rent out.
She wasn’t the only one. The tower, 550 Vanderbilt, had more buyers become landlords in 2017 than any other condo project in the city, according to data from listings website StreetEasy. For New York as a whole, a record 10.7 percent of all condos that sold last year were listed by their owners as rentals within months.
...At 550 Vanderbilt, the first condo tower to open at the 22-acre (8.9-hectare) Pacific Park project near the Barclays Center arena, 41 percent of the units sold last year were listed as rentals within 180 days of closing.
That's a pretty big number. Part of that has to do not with investors seeking return but investors--especially the earliest round at 550 Vanderbilt--from China seeking a safe place to stash their money.

Still, Serhant spins away:
“When was the last time in New York history that you could buy one of the first new condos in a new neighborhood?” said Serhant, a broker at Nest Seekers International and the sales agent for 550 Vanderbilt, a 278-unit project that includes communal gardens and a pet-grooming station. “You want to buy real estate the same way you buy into IPOs. Then you sit and watch it grow. ”
It's not a new neighborhood. And there's no "new park," though he likes to say that. (It's not like Serhant has any credibility issues, does he?)

One unanswered question: are the owners making much of a profit, given their deposit, closing costs, and monthly cost of ownership?

Also: what's it like to live in a condo building that has a significant amount of absentee owners?

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