The never-ending quest for the perfect apartment in New York City could be getting that much tougher, new data suggests, thanks to new competition for scarce supply from other parts of the world—and one surprising country in particular.
Newly released figures from TripleMint, a residential real estate start-up based in New York, points to a shift in the countries most interested in buying into the city's active housing market, which attracts more than its fair share of domestic and international buyers and remains one of the world's priciest.
Over the course of 2015 and 2016, the company tracked the location of visitors on its website hunting for housing, ranking countries by a percentage of total foreign searches for that year, and compared the results. It found the biggest mover was Russia, which jumped from #20 on their top searchers list in 2015, to #2 last year, landing just behind the United Kingdom.
The results were somewhat surprising, taking place during a volatile period in U.S./Russia relations. The country is being hammered by accusations of hacking as well as electoral meddling, although it was unclear to what extent those events influenced TripleMint's data, if at all.
Nevertheless, the findings came as a surprise to the company.
"We had no idea that we were going to find that," David Walker, TripleMint's CEO, told CNBC in an interview. "It was fascinating seeing this data and how much search traffic has picked up from Russia."