Mauricio Umansky

Speaking on the luxury real estate market this past Thursday at Real Estate Connect New York, The Agency’s Mauricio Umansky stressed to the audience that “global” is the new local.

“I have a lot of different global … relationships,” Umansky said, as recapped by Inman News. “I’m finding global to be extremely important.” Those global relationships Mauricio was referring to include investors, real estate professionals and executives in Europe, Mexico and China. Most recently, Mauricio traveled extensively in China, including to Shanghai and Beijing, where he met with a number of mainland Chinese investors looking to buy internationally, and in particular, in the U.S.

While home sales continue to slow in China, mainly as a result of government measures, Chinese buyers are increasingly looking to the U.S. for investment properties and second homes. As reported by Businessweek last summer, a survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors found that Chinese buyers accounted for 9 percent of U.S. home purchases by foreign investors during a 12 month period ending in March of 2011; up from 5 percent from the same period in 2009.

The same trend is likely to be seen in Europe, where the financial crisis there makes investment look risky on home soil but safe in the U.S. Trulia’s Chief Economist Jed Kolko recently noted: “As Europe’s financial crisis turns into a deeper recession, Europeans will spend less on nearly everything, including real estate. But for those Europeans who would still be in a position to invest, U.S. assets — including U.S. real estate — could turn out to be safer investments than European stocks, bonds or property.”

In looking at what U.S. cities European home buyers are most interested in, Trulia found that Los Angeles is the most popular, followed by New York, Miami and San Francisco.

We’ll be reporting more on the global market in the coming weeks here on The Agency Blog, and look for new listings from across the U.S. and Europe on our Properties page.

Continue the conversation about “global is the new local” with Mauricio on Twitter.