Tag Archives: Manhattan Real Estate

Brokers Baffled As Manhattan Luxury Housing Rout Spreads To Broader Market

(ZeroHedge) When the first signs of stress in Manhattan’s luxury real-estate market started to appear roughly one year ago, we anticipated that the weakness in the high-end would soon spread to the broader market.

And as it turns out, we were right. To wit, the latest evidence that the NYC housing bubble is beginning to deflate comes courtesy of Bloomberg, which reported on Tuesday that during the three months through September, the number of homes purchased in Manhattan declined for the fourth straight quarter, dropping 11% from a year earlier to 2,987, according to a report Tuesday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Meanwhile, the number of listings climbed 13% to 6,925 homes, the most since 2011.

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While the pullback had previously been isolated to the luxury market, which was struggling with an abundance of new supply, even the smaller, cheaper apartments that have typically been favored by members of New York City’s professional class lingered on the market during the third quarter, with inventories rising by about 15% for studios and 21% year-on-year for one-bedroom apartments. Meanwhile, inventories rose 8% for two-bedrooms, and 5% for four-bedrooms.

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Of course, brokers are hoping that this is just a gully and that sellers will ultimately prevail by sticking to their guns. Rising interest rates, as one broker pointed out, are giving sellers time to wait for a better offer, as chances are they are locked in at a lower rate. But the data suggest that this isn’t happening, as the number of sellers cutting prices has climbed to its highest level since 2009 as BAML warns that “existing home sales have peaked.”

With economic growth accelerating and US stocks at record highs, real estate brokers can’t figure out what’s behind the recent softness, with one calling it “perplexing.”

“It is somewhat perplexing,” said Garrett Derderian, director of data and reporting for brokerage Stribling & Associates, which also released a report on Manhattan home sales Tuesday. “The financial markets are quite strong. Mortgage rates, while rising, are still at historic lows. But the perception has become that the market is overheating in terms of pricing. No one obviously wants to come in at the top where they’re paying the highest prices as things are going down.”

But any of our regular readers will know that this pullback in housing prices isn’t “perplexing” in the least: Rather, it’s the result of a confluence of factors, most notably the staggering jump in home price to average earnings ratios accompanied by a drop in foreign capital from China and the former Soviet Union. 

Danske Bank’s massive money laundering scandal has triggered calls to tighten European banking regulations, threatening to cut off the flow of “dirty money” from the former Soviet Union. At the same time, China has cracked down on capital outflows, making it more difficult for wealthy Chinese buyers to stash their money in hot property markets. The influx of foreign money over the past 10 years has led to bubble-like valuations, leaving home ownership in markets like NYC (and Vancouver, and London, and Hong Kong…) out of reach for locals.

One real-estate broker touched on this trend by warning that sellers must now “bring prices closer to where they need to be” in an interview with Bloomberg.

“For the last eight years, the market has been going up, up, up,” said Bess Freedman, co-president of brokerage Brown Harris Stevens. “But now, it’s really time for sellers to adjust prices to where the market needs to be. I think slowly they’ll do that more and more.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. And according to brokerage Brown Harris Stevens, previously owned Manhattan homes spent an average of 104 days on the market in the third quarter, compared with 94 days a year earlier. Manhattan co-ops, typically a primary residence of the buyer, have endured falling prices across the board, with three-bedrooms seeing the biggest decline at 17% to $3.13 million. Going forward, not only will real-estate brokers in the city be responsible for matching buyers and sellers, they will also need to better manage sellers’ expectations, or risk a repeat of what’s happening in Vancouver.

Source: ZeroHedge

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Retail Rents Plunge 20% Across Manhattan

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As we anticipated earlier this year, the first the signs of the coming implosion of the US real-estate bubble are emerging in the high end of the nation’s most overcrowded and expensive housing markets (Manhattan and San Francisco are two salient examples). 

And in the latest confirmation of this trend, the Wall Street Journal published a report this week highlighting how the business environment for commercial landlords in New York City’s most densely populated borough is growing increasingly dire, as landlords who had left storefronts vacant in the hope of courting the next Bank of America or CVS have inadvertently turned trendy downtown Manhattan neighborhoods like SoHo into a “shopping wasteland”.

Thanks in large part to their intransigence, commercial landlords who catered to retail tenants are being hit twice as hard as they otherwise would’ve been, as tenants, no longer able to afford rents higher than $600 per square foot, are now demanding concessions and rent reductions, a phenomenon that has seen average rents in certain neighborhoods plummet on a year-over-year basis.

According to CBRE Group, a real estate services firm that pays close attention to commercial rents in Manhattan, some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods are also some of the borough’s most trendy, including the Meatpacking District, and SoHo.

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Here’s an excerpt from the WSJ story, entitled “Retail Rents Plunge in Major Manhattan Shopping Districts”.

The average asking rent on Washington Street between 14th and Gansevoort streets in the Meatpacking District dropped to $490 a square foot from last year’s $623, a 21.3% decrease and the largest percentage drop in asking rents among the shopping corridors CBRE tracks.

Average asking rents tumbled 18.1% on both SoHo’s Broadway Avenue and the Upper East Side’s Third Avenue, where asking rents were $556 and $280 a square foot, respectively.

Availability remained flat compared with last year, with 209 ground-floor spaces marketed for direct leasing. The report noted, however, that landlords looking to directly lease space also will have to compete with sublease space, which has increased according to anecdotal reports. Some space available for sublease comes as retailers leave behind old quarters for better locations, Ms. LaRusso said.

Conditions are favorable for tenants, said Andrew Goldberg, vice chairman at CBRE. Landlords are more open to shorter-term leases and provisions allowing tenants to get out of leases if a retail concept doesn’t work.

“I think we will start to see some more of the savvier tenants of companies realize we’re starting to get to a point where they can drive some good deals for themselves,” Mr. Goldberg said.

The problem when rents enter free-fall territory is that it’s a self-reinforcing phenomenon (not unlike the blowup that triggered the demise of the XIV, but over a much longer period of time). As rents fall, retailers start wondering if they can procure a better deal, possibly in a better neighborhood. All of a sudden, landlords must now essentially compete with themselves as the number of subleases climbs.

Of course, Manhattan is Manhattan. There will always be hoards of boutique merchants, big-name brands and – well, Walgreens – clamoring for commercial rental space. 

But after nearly a decade of soaring real-estate valuations, it appears one of America’s hottest housing markets is heading for a “gully.”

On the other end of the property market, a drop in valuations and transaction volumes has inspired some observers to proclaim that “this is the breaking point.”

In short, we wish the Kushner Cos the best of luck as they prepare to buy out the remaining stake in 666 Fifth Ave. Because overpaying for commercial real-estate in Manhattan in 2018, nine years into one of the longest economic expansions on record sounds like a fantastic plan.

Source: ZeroHedge

Manhattan Home Sales Tumble Most Since 2009 as Buyers Walk

Home sales in Manhattan plunged by the most since the recession as buyers at all price levels drove hard bargains and were in no rush to close deals.

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  • Haggling gets more aggressive for listings at all price points
  • ‘People are very anxious about overpaying,’ brokerage CEO says

Sales of all condos and co-ops fell 25 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier to 2,180, according to a report Tuesday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. It was the biggest annual decline since the second quarter of 2009, when Manhattan’s property market froze in the wake of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy filing and the global financial crisis that followed.

The drop in sales spanned from the highest reaches of the luxury market to workaday studios and one-bedrooms. Buyers, who have noticed that home prices are no longer climbing as sharply as they have been, are realizing they can afford to be picky. Rising borrowing costs and new federal limits on tax deductions for mortgage interest and state and local levies also are making homeownership more expensive, giving shoppers even more reasons to push back on a listing’s price — or walk away.

While just a few years ago, bidding wars were the norm, “there’s nothing out there today that points to prices going up, and in many buyers’ minds, they point to being flat,” said Pamela Liebman, chief executive officer of brokerage Corcoran Group. “They’re now aggressive in the opposite way: putting in very low offers and seeing what concessions they can get from the sellers.”

Corcoran Group released its own Manhattan market report Tuesday, showing an 11 percent decrease in completed purchases and a 10 percent drop in sales that are pending.

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For sellers, to reach a deal in the first quarter was to accept a lower offer. Fifty-two percent of all sales that closed in the period were for less than the last asking price, according to Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman. Buyers agreed to pay the asking price in 38 percent of deals, but often that figure had already been reduced. Combined, the share of deals without a premium was the biggest since the end of 2012.

“Even with New York real estate prices, you do hit a point in which resistance sets in,” said Frederick Peters, CEO of brokerage Warburg Realty. “People are very anxious about overpaying.”

Peters said that these days, he gets dozens of emails a day announcing price reductions for listings. And buyers are haggling over all deals, no matter how small. In a recent sale of a two-bedroom home handled by his firm, a buyer who agreed to pay $1.5 million — after the seller cut the asking price — suddenly demanded an extra $100,000 discount before signing the contract. They agreed to meet halfway, Peters said.

Buyers also are finding value in co-ops, which in Manhattan tend to be priced lower than condos. Resale co-ops were the only category to have an increase in sales in the quarter, rising 2 percent to 1,486 deals, according to Corcoran Group. Sales of previously owned condos, on the other hand, fell 12 percent as their owners clung to prices near their record highs, the brokerage said.

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The median price of all sales that closed in the quarter was $1.095 million, down 5.2 percent from a year earlier, brokerage Town Residential said in its own report. Three-bedroom apartments saw the biggest drop, with a decline of 7 percent to a median of $3.82 million, the firm said.

Prices fell the most in the lower Manhattan neighborhoods of Battery Park City and the Financial District, where the median slid 15 percent from a year earlier to $1.21 million, according to Corcoran Group. On the Upper West Side, the median dropped 8 percent to $1.1 million.

Neither new developments nor resales were spared from buyer apathy. Purchases of newly constructed condos, which continue to proliferate on the market, plummeted 54 percent in the quarter to 259, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman said. Sales of previously owned apartments dropped 18 percent to 1,921.

The plunge in transactions is actually a good thing, in that it may serve as a wake-up call for more sellers to scale back their price expectations, said Steven James, Douglas Elliman’s CEO for the New York City region.

“It sends the sellers a signal that you have to get more reasonable if you want my buy,” James said. “It’s like buyers said, ‘I’ve told you all along, but you wouldn’t listen! Now I have your attention, so let’s talk.”

Video Link

Source: By Oshrat Carmiel | Bloomberg

 

 

 

An Inside Look At Manhattan’s Billionaires’ Row

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Along Manhattan’s 57th Street, stretching from Columbus Circle on the west side to Park Avenue on the east, you’ll soon find more than a half-dozen glittering, ultra-exclusive condominium towers that will offer unparalleled views of Central Park — and virtually the entire city. Welcome to Manhattan’s Billionaires’ Row, the current trophy real estate of the 1%.

The mega projects, with some penthouse floor plans such as those at 432 Park Ave. expanding to more than 8,200 square feet, are expected to list on average for more than $14.5 million (or $4,375 a square foot). Some even have living rooms bigger than most condominium units in Manhattan (the average size of a condo unit in Manhattan being 1,100 square feet.)

The sky-high prices on Billionaires’ Row will also help push the average price for a unit at new developments in Manhattan to $7 million (or $2,787 a square foot) by 2017, according to Gabby Warshawer, head of research for CityRealty, a New York real-estate research firm. Manhattan condo units on average were just $1 million as recently as 2005, says Warshawer.

An inside look at ‘Billionaires’ Row’

For the Manhattan, and global, elite, trophy apartments in the sky, overlooking Central Park, will set new marks for luxury and price.

Aside from the luxuriously appointed apartments and the central location, there’s something else that’s appealing about the apartments: As Noble Black, a real-estate agent who has marketed condominium units in One57, points out, unlike many city co-ops — whose boards are famously picky and have turned down such notables as pop singer Madonna and former President Richard Nixon as potential residents — buyers on Billionaires’ Row don’t need to open up their financial books to co-op boards or even submit to interviews.

Here’s a look at what $14 million–plus will buy you along Billionaires’ Row …

These sky-high trophy homes overlooking Central Park set new marks for both luxury and price

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157 West 57 St.

One57, built by developer Extell, was the first on the Billionaires’ Row strip to be built and is 75 stories tall and more than 1,000 feet high. The building, which includes a Park Hyatt hotel with services catering to owners’ every whim, with room service, maid service and a spa and gym, saw its penthouse apartment sell for a record $100.5 million in December 2014 to a yet-unnamed buyer. All told, the entire building’s 92 condo units were worth an estimated $2 billion and will sell for an average of $6,300 a square foot, according to CityRealty.

111 West 57th St.

Built by JDS Development Group, this extraordinarily slender skyscraper will rise 80 stories and more than 1,400 feet. That’s taller than the Empire State Building. The 60 apartments will start at $14 million according to the developer’s website and rise to $100 million, according to CityRealty. Completion is expected in 2018.

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550 Madison Ave.

The rehab of the 37-story Sony Building will include a $150 million penthouse and possibly a five-star hotel. The skyscraper, completed in 1983, was sold to Joseph Chetrit, a real-estate developer for more than $1 billion in 2013. The sell-out price for the property will likely approach $2 billion, or more than $4,400 a square foot, CityRealty says.

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432 Park Ave.

Currently the tallest residential building in the city at 1,396 feet, the condominium development by CIM Group/Macklowe Properties recently sold its penthouse for $99.5 million.The building’s total sales will be worth an estimated $3 billion (or nearly $6,300 a square foot), according to CityRealty, assuming the 144-unit building is sold out. Closings on the remaining units — which range from $17 million to $81 million — are expected to start at the end of the year.

53 W. 53rd St.

Hines Development’s 77-story condominium has been in the works for 10 years but has only recently started marketing its 100-plus units. The 1,050-foot-high trapezoidal tower with geodesic elements is set to be completed in 2018 and to include a unit priced at $70 million, according to CityRealty. All told, the sell-out price is anticipated at upward of $2 billion.

by Daniel Goldstein for Market Watch