Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Morning Links

Number Of Vacant Homes Highest Since 1970's (Bloomberg)
Broker Trapped In Plaza Garbage Room Overnight (NY Post)
Impact Of 421a Changes Include Development Slowdown (NY Sun)
Manhattan Condo Sales Strong, Other Boroughs Weak (NY Sun)
City Opens First New Pool In 40 Years (NY Times)
Video Tour Of 15 CPW Apartment (NY Mag)
Another Bad Congestion Pricing Plan (NY Times)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thursday Morning Links

Abu Dhabi's Influences Grows, And Grows..(NY Times)
Dubai World's Vegas Investment Sets Record (Int'l Herald Tribune)
Brookfield Drops Out Of West Side Yards Bidding (Observer)
2nd Avenue Delayed Again!!! (AMNY)
Congestion Pricing Dead On Arrival In Albany? (NY Post)
Bloomberg Defends Tax Break For MLB Harlem Tower (NY Sun)
Round 2 Of Bidding On GM Building Set For March 6th (Observer)

Thursday Morning Update

Hey folks! Sorry about the missed post yesterday. I was all-consumed by a double walk through and double closing at Miraval Living. Despite multiple delays and a phased opening without the array of amenities in place, the quality finishes are exceptional, and despite tough circumstances, the staff at Miraval has done an exceptional job of accomodating buyers. One buyer that I ran into in the hallway was absolutely beaming and sought me out (as a broker) to tell me how excited he was to move in that day and to convey how diligent the staff was in addressing pos-closing concerns on his punch list. While the building has had it's challenges, including a change of brokers mid-steam, it seems that things are finally looking up at Miraval. While the exact percentage sold is hard to come by, there are still some family-sized 3 bedrooms available under $2 Mil..
We will have a South Facing 1 bedroom with large terrace, washer/dryer, etc. available for rent at around $3500. on the market shortly.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tuesday Morning Links

Hotel Portion Of Plaza To Reopen Saturday (Newyorkology)
A Peak At "A Building" Pool (Curbed)
US Home Resales Decline, Though Less Than Expected (NY Times)
Food Fight Over Fruit Stands (Gothamist)
High Line/Meatpacking District, NYC's Hottest Market (Bloomberg)
Manhattan Real Estate Lawyer Pleads Guilty To $2.1 Mil. Theft (Newsday)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday Links

More Citifield Renderings (Curbed)
$45 Million Penthouse At 15 CPW Closes (Observer)
Maintenance Fees Escalate (NY Times)
Shops At Time Warner Center Sales Soar (Crain's)
German Bank Sues UBS Over Sub-Prime Securities (NY Times)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Links

(courtesy and Municipal Arts Society)

Happy Friday to all. For those of you outside the city, I am happy to report that we finally have snow in NYC. So far 7" or so have fallen in Central Park with the potential for more. Have a great weekend everyone!
Meadowlands Xanadu To Have 260' Tall Pepsi Globe (Curbed)
Cafe La Fortuna, Lennon Haunt, Closes (NY Times)
OTB Closure Threatens To Further Sterilize City (NY Times)
More On Proposed East 30's Waterfront Park (Curbed)
Village Club's Hepatitis Scare Snares Madonna, Salma Hayek, And More (WSJ)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thursday Comments And Links

Alright, I am back with links. I also wanted to make a couple of comments regarding the current market. The good news is that we have seen a winter thaw here over the past week. After a traditionally slow February we are starting to see a surge in buying interest and our web stats. I found a comment by Barbara Corcoran on CNBC the other day very interesting. Aside from stating the obvious about the continued strength in NYC's very high end, she pointed out that Wall Street bonuses were actually delivered later this year. Instead of bonuses being distributed in late December of early January, this year most of the bonuses were distributed until January and February, and some are still waiting for distribution. While Wall Street's prospects this year are questionable, hence enhancing a potentially conservative approach with current bonus money, it will be interesting to see how much of this year's pool will hit the market in March. Here are today's links:
West Siders Cry Foul Over 7 Line Extension (Observer)
125th St. Rezone Has Harlem Residents Concerned (NY Times)
Mob Could Benefit From OTB Closure (NY Daily News)
Garodnick Presses For East River Park Near U.N. (Observer)
Guiccione Mansion Sells, Falls Short Of Record (NY Post)
Livmor Condos On Frederick Douglass And 116th Revealed (Curbed)
Obama, Clinton Spar On Housing Policy (WSJ)
Brookfield To Start Work On West Side Yards Platform (NY Times)

A. Fine Company Mentioned In Today's NY Sun

Hello everyone. Sorry I missed the blog post yesterday. I will be catching up on all the links shortly. In the meantime, we had a nice mention in today's New York Sun regarding 15 Union Square West. Yes, I am in love with the building, the apartments, the fixins, and the location.
Condos At Former Tiffany Building Hit Market (NY Sun)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesday Morning Links And Comment

Good morning everyone. I hope a restful and enjoyable long weekend was had by all. While holiday weekends are traditionally slow, this week could prove to be rather interesting. While the stock market is up impressively this morning there are a couple of issues on the horizon which could have an impact on our local real estate market. Most notable is the issue of credit ratings for bond insurers. Many states are requesting the break-up of large bond insurers to jettison the sub-prime portion of their businesses in order to maintain the triple A ratings on the bonds, prime, and Alt-A mortgages that they guarantee. Such a move would shore up confidence in these ratings agencies. Should such moves not be adopted, the ratings of these agencies could be reduced, which would increase borrowing costs, and could have a cascading effect which could lead to a another round of multi-billion write-down by large banks. The situation is fluid and I will keep you posted as developments dictate.
Lots Of New Buildings Needed To Keep NYC Competitive (NY Post)
Off Track Betting Shuting Down? 1500 Layoffs? (NY Sun)
Wealthy Blacks Rile Some In Harlem (NY Times)
World's Most Expensive Rental Markets, NY 4th (Forbes)
Mortgage Insurers Face Difficulty (WSJ)
Rumored $196 Million Sale At One Hyde Park, London (Luxist)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Morning Links

Courtesy: Studley
Ultra Modern Building To Rise At Cooper Union (Observer)
Bloomberg Touts Obama's Economic Plan (WCBS)
Tough Times For NY Icon Harry Macklowe (CNN)
UES Townhouse Sale Could Be New Record (NY Post)
Toll Brothers Unveils Ambitious Gowanus Plan (Gownus Lounge)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thursday Morning Links

City Council Adopts Toughest "E-Waste" Law In Nation (NY Times)
Foreigners Buying NYC Condos In Bulk (The Real Deal)
River Place Residents Unhappy With Bowling Alley (Racked)
Activists Rip Willets Point Plan (Daily News)
A 25 Year Deal On Horse Racing, OTB Still In Danger (CityRoom)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wednesday Morning Links

Stanhope Seeing Dramatic Increase In Sales (NY Observer)
Foreigners Invade Soho/Stanhope Finally Selling (Curbed)
Rejoice! NY Racing Association Hammers Out Deal On Tracks (NY Post)
The Skinny On NY's Skinniest Townhouse (The Real Deal)
Luxury Real Estate Round Up (Luxist)

Rise In Conforming Loan Limit Could Buoy NYC's Low End

President Bush is expected to sign into law today, an economic stimulus package which is to include a raise in the conforming (conventional) loan limit to 125% of local median home prices, with a cap of just under $730,000. For much of New York City, this means an instant jump to the cap rate. While most economists admit that the move won't hurt, many see the impact as muted. I would argue that the raise in limit will have a fairly substantial impact.
Take as an example a $900,000 apartment in Manhattan with a 20% down payment. Assuming fixed costs of $1000 per month (maint. or cc's and re tax), your monthly costs on a jumbo at 6.65% would be $5622.. With the benefit of a 5.6% conforming loan, that number drops to $5133. The difference is nearly 10%. Additionally, when buying higher priced apartment, more buyers will be tempted to put more money down to capture the lower rate. One of the biggest reasons for New York's real estate resiliency has been the fact that coops on average require 25% or more down and most condos require 10% or 20% down. These requirements have kept the NYC market largely out of the sub-prime debacle fray. The raising of conforming loan limits will only reinforce this subtlety and further insulate the New York market.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tuesday Morning Links

Construction Watch: Superior Ink, West Village (Curbed)
Big Banks Announce New Foreclosure Plan (Bloomberg)
Downtown Residents Want Original Fulton Station (Metro)
Mumbai Too Expensive? Try New York (Sify)
Moscow Too Expensive? Try New York (Moscow Times)
St. Vincent's Plan Roils City (AP)
Late Leona Helmsley Tops Charitable Donors List (Bloomberg)

Monday, February 11, 2008

10-50 Jackson...Now With Windows!

The windows are in and 10-50 Jackson seems to be making solid progress this winter. The building, which nearly sold out in a couple of weeks when pre-sales began a year ago has just 2 units that remain unsold, and according to the broker in charge, that may be down to one in the next couple of days.
Condo Action On Jackson (A. Fine Blog/Dec. 07')
LIC Condo Madness (Curbed/Mar. 07')

Monday Morning Links

Manhattan Apartment Prices Soar To All Time Record (Big Deal/ Barbanel)
Spitzer Reduces Revenue Projections, Citing The Economy (NY Times)
For Second Ave Shop Owners, It's The Subway To Hell (New York)
Gramercy Green (23rd+2nd) Becomes NYU Dorm (The Villager)
East Village Gritty? Not So Much Anymore (NY Times)
Celebrity Real Estate Wrap (Curbed)
Silver Lining: Broker Commissions Up (The Real Deal)
First Luxury Condo Planned For Inwood (NY Times)
Macklowe Watch: Technical Default, Talks Continue (Observer)
Con Ed Seeks 64% Rate Hike! (The Real Deal)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Claiming The High Ground: The View From Hunters View

I had a nice trip out to LIC this afternoon and I was invited to see exactly what the "view" for the condo "Hunters View" was all about. Well, it's no exaggeration. Just a couple of flights up and not only was the entire Manhattan skyline was in sight, you could see for miles and miles in every direction. The multi-amenitied condo is one of the most affordable in the area, but the view- priceless!

The Gem Inside The Tiffany Box At 15 Union Square West

Wow! That one word sums up my experience viewing the new model apartment at the former Tiffany Building, now the condo at 15 USW. I've been to a million of these soirees and it takes a lot to impress me, but I can truly say that I was blown away by what now holds the place in my heart as my new dream apartment. In a brilliant marketing move, 15 USW forged ahead with a full build out of one apartment in the building, which is currently under construction. This 3rd floor apartment, a 2900 square foot 3 bedroom with 17' ceilings features a mamouth livingroom (around 20'x31') with around 31' of windows facing Union Square Park. On one end of the livingroom is a huge kitchen with 16' marble island and the biggest and best of Sub-Zero, Viking, and Miele appliances. My favorite feature of the apartment is the use and preservation of the 17' tall cast iron arches which frame the windows throughout. While prices have not yet been released, "price talk" is 2 bedrooms starting at $4 Million and 3 Bedrooms starting at $6 Million. If the model 3 bedroom is anywhere near that price (or anywhere under $3000/ft), I would consider it a steal and the quinessential trophy apartment. To my surprise and delight, the Tiffany Building has turned out yet another gem.

Friday Morning Links

Tribeca Whole Foods Coming Soon (Racked)
Hamptons Summer Rental Season Already Hot (Newsday)
Bloomberg Calls Real Estate Companies Campaign Cash "A Disgrace" (NY Times)
Landlords Slam Tenants' Rights Measure (NY Daily News)
Cost Of New Yankee Stadium Climbs To $1.3 Bil. (NY Sun)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thursday Links

Who Built 1495 Third (at 84th) (78th and 2nd/NY Times)
Controversial West Side Development Round Up (Curbed)
Blight Gone, Eighth Avenue Now "Avenue Of Architects" (NY Times)
Deutsche Bank Dodges Sub-Prime Woes (Bloomberg)
Ledger's Soho Flat Back On The Market (NY Post)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

That's Challenging: Union Square Snowboarders Face 60 Degrees

It sounds like a great idea- hold a snowboarding event smack in the middle of NYC at Union Square. Plan that event for February 7th, which should insure that even if you have to import snow, it won't melt. Well, going the way of many best laid plans, event organizers could not have planned for 60 degree temperatures and a boatload of rain on the way. It should however get cooler and snowier by Saturday night- right in time to break down the ramps and move the whole production out of town.

Wednesday Morning Links

City Told To Stop Digging Up Graves At Washington Square (Metro)
Boy Developer Ben Shaoul Wants To Live Forever (Observer)
New Yorkers Renting Out Apartments As Hotel Rates Soar (The Real Deal)
Foreclosures Come To The Hamptons? (Crain's)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Ticker Tape Madness!

It was quite a celebration for the New York Giants today through the "Canyon of Champions" along Broadway from the Battery to City Hall. Over 1 Million people lined the route, so many in fact, that there were a couple of very dangerous intersections, where I am surprised that there were not serious injuries. Still, it was a great affair which topped off an incredible season. A special thanks to my friends at City Hall for the tickets to the after-rally on City Hall's steps.

Tuesday Morning Comments

Wow! Not a whole lot of real estate news today. Seems like today is all about the Giants Victory Parade through the Canyon of Champions, and the Super Tuesday elections. Whoever you support, make sure you do the right thing and get out and vote! I'll be back with pics and video of the Victory Parade.
After Deaths, City Seeks Tighter Construction Guidelines (NY Times)
St. Vincents Mega-Plan Seeks Public Input (Curbed)
Find Your Polling Place (NYC Board of Elections)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Monday Morning Links

Friday, February 1, 2008

Friday Links And Comment

What a difference a week makes! Notice that when the stock markets soars, it doesn't make the headlines? Well, the Dow ended this week up 4.4%, so I'll make it my headline. February is here, typically the lowest month of the year in the real estate business. I am often asked what the best time of the year to buy or rent is, and my answer is always "February". Why? It's quiet. Landlords and sponsors are eager for business, and you usually have your best negotiating oportunities in such an enviroment. This February may be better than most for buyers. Any time it gets quiet, even when seasonal, owners wonder if it's the time of year, or indicitive of the market. A buyer can always play on that fear. This year, the fear factor has got to be higher than usual. Fears of a recession, fears of stock market volatility, and fears of the falling national real estate market creeping into ours give the prospective buyer more leverage than usual. There are several positive factors in play in the New York real estate market, including historically low inventory, historically low interest rates, and a historically cheap dollar. With the ample stimulus coming in the form of numerous rate cuts, tax rebates, and a rise in the cap for conventional loans, February could very well prove to be a great time to buy.

Macklowe Makes Deal, 7 Buildings To Hit Market (Wall Street Journal Online)
Record Breaking Sale On North Fork (Newsday)
Condo Listings Top Coops (Curbed)
Deal Voided For Randalls Island Sports Fields (NY Times)
NY Candidates Awash In Real Estate Cash (NY Times)
Stock Market Gains 4.4% For The Week (CBSMarketwatch)