A new GREEN LAW was signed into effect this past week by Mayor Bloomberg, Intro 887-A: It establishes a Renewable Energy Webportal that consolidates information into an easy-to-navigate website that New York homeowners can access to study new climate change initiatives, how they can implement renewable energy systems, and provides a cost-calculator to help individuals determine the economic benefits of installing new systems.“Renewable energy initiatives should be simple and accessible for everyday New Yorkers as they seek to cut energy costs and reduce greenhouse emissions,” Gennaro said as reported by the Queens Gazette.
Posts Tagged ‘Bloomberg’
Yesterday a client mentioned to me an interesting phenomenon that is hitting the New York/Manhattan luxury real estate market. He was visiting a very high end new building in Greenwich Village and as he stood in one of the secondary bedrooms, he felt the entire world around him had shrunken dramatically. Have you noticed the dimensions on some of these new “LUXURY” apartments? 9ft x 10ft bedrooms? I guess this would be acceptable as a secondary bedroom for a housekeeper in a much larger home or in a cheap walk-up, but is this really the ‘new normal’ in Manhattan luxury real estate?
As bankers and developers are fixated with maximizing profitability based exclusively on dollars per square foot, those dollars become more profitable the more the room sizes shrink. A new building came to market in the Meatpacking District: An almost $ 3million apartment delivers a bedroom measuring 10’9″ x 10’3″. Another building on Gramercy Park offering apartments in the mid teens (yes, around $ 15million)delivers living rooms that are 14ft wide…..
While I believe buyers will flock to buy out of desperation from this ‘new normal’, I would caution them not to forget the fundamentals of good real estate…..good ‘luxury’ real estate requires rooms with good dimensions that can function in the real world. Maybe Bloomberg’s calorie counting legislation can help us all adapt to these shrinking dimensions? It seems the time has finally come for Leona Helmsley’s little people!
“You cannot balance the budget without raising revenue and cutting expenses. There is no reputable economist that remotely thinks you could do this without doing those two things — one of which is anathema to the Republicans, and one of which is anathema to the Democrats.”
No, you will never hear these words uttered by either presidential candidate Obama or Romney…..because this is the reality. And reality has all but bypassed this horrific election campaign. Both candidates should be embarrassed. These are the words spoken by the only politician who is not indebted to the radical elements of both parties that have hijacked the system, provide the scandalous sound-bites that get the most air-time (as they fuel ratings), and are probably largely to blame for the stalemate in government……Mayor Bloomberg. This week Bloomberg announced the creation of a Super-Pac to promote the Centrist perspective, the most lacking thought process in politics to-day. Independence USA PAC has pledged to spend up to $15 million in the next two weeks on state, federal and local candidates.
Bloomberg raised real estate taxes in New York, and cut expenses a few years ago: the results are a rather healthy economy. Practical solutions work. Taxes can easily be lowered when that revenue is not needed, provided the radical left-wing agenda for limitless, wasteful, inefficient spending is simultaneously curtailed. The majority of US citizens are ready for a practical, centrist government that enacts legislation that actually works.
Just like so many US households have had to be practical in the past few years, its time too for the USA to pay down its credit card bill!
The press is reporting that the U.S. homeownership rate may fall two percentage points to 64 percent, below historic norms, amid about six million additional foreclosures and tight lending standards, according to Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Scott Simon. This translates to about 4 million homeowners turning into renters.
Homeownership has declined from 69.2 percent in 2004, the highest on record, after loose credit and soaring property values drew buyers into the market, according to the Census Bureau. While owning is now “incredibly cheap” compared with renting for consumers who can qualify for loans, relatively few Americans can take advantage of the opportunity. The proportion of Americans owning their homes averaged 64.5 percent in the 1970s and 1980s. U.S. home prices are down 35 percent on average from a 2006 peak, after declining in February to the lowest since 2002, according to S&P/Case-Shiller index data on value in 20 markets released today. Prices are poised to drop an additional three or four percent before bottoming during the next 12 months according to Simon.
While many blame the glut of approximately 4 million homes that were over-built on reckless homeowners/buyers, the actions of banks and the inaction of government, especially Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, I think a large chunk of the blame lies on the charlatans (TV shows, info-mmercials, books, advisers, TV personalities, brokers, friends, etc) who peddled the concept of home-buying as a Las Vegas-style gambling hall: This vast pool of ‘flippers’ helped fuel unrealistic, unjustified price gains that fueled an unrealistic volume of building. Fortunately for Manhattan, the pool of investor buyers was very, very small, and for the most part the investors were very wealthy. With New York comprising approximately 70% of rental properties the chances for over-building condos was always automatically minimized, although not all escaped unscathed. The last 3 years have proven to be the GREAT EQUALIZER, showcasing how those properties that experienced price escalation just because of averages, have dropped in value, while many that were somewhat depressed by these averages have soared. Yes, some properties will see a 6-10% price escalation in 2012: Others will not, and some may even see a small decline.
Personally, I am witnessing broad RENTER FATIGUE in New York: The New York Times recently addressed this issue how for the first time in years, many renters faced with increasing rents are turning to homeownership (with low rate financing) as a very viable alternative. I am seeing this on all ends of the budget spectrum. So while we all said that things would never be the same 3 years ago, I feel homeownership as the ultimate goal will return to the US, and rates of ownership will start to rise in about 3 years as the cycle unfolds…….in short, I think the trend towards renting versus owning is a temporary one.
Everyone keeps asking and e-mailing why on earth I keep posting all these blurbs about how the real estate market is doing so well right now….in March’s LUXURYLETTER I called New York MULTIPLE BID CITY…. Last night I received e-mails about an article talking about how bad bonus season was and how poorly those in the financial markets are doing (which is definitely not true for all!). Maybe one reason is that when it comes to being competitive, New York is No. 1!
New York emerged on top again in a new survey of the 120 most economically competitive cities in the world. London came in second, followed by Singapore, with Paris and Hong Kong tied for fourth.
Leo Abruzzese, of the Economist Intelligence Unit, which conducted the survey on behalf of Citigroup, said New York’s strengths extended beyond its powerhouse financial sector to its long-established infrastructure, social and cultural amenities, record number of tourists and improving educational system. “This is not just about having the fastest growth rate,” said Abruzzese. “If it was, the index would be dominated almost entirely by cities in Asia, cities in China. One of the conclusions we came to was for a city to be competitive, it does need to have a strong economy, but it needs to have other dimensions as well.” Not only does New York have an economic, diversified powerhouse, it also has the soul and culture that makes a city great.
Bloomberg has pushed for investment in many of the same areas where the city scored big points in the study. his focus on the tech sector is bound to produce strong results years from now, and the effects are being felt already.
The two categories where the city fell short were both well beyond the mayor’s control — a talent pool constricted by national immigration policies, and a potential “environmental hazard” in the form of rising water levels that could one day endanger Manhattan.
Bloomberg was naturally very pleased with this survey, but like the smart businessman he is, he cautioned that the city had to maintain its momentum. “The instant you let down your guard or stop innovating, you will see a change in the big mo, and changing the big mo is hard to do,” he said.
Dominance of Western cities will be challenged by Asian cities in coming years, according to Abruzzese. Till then, we may have discovered an important answer to an on-going debate….
New York will draw more than 50 million visitors by the end of 2011 — a record for the city, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced yesterday.
“While playing host to the world isn’t new for us, the number of visitors we’re welcoming in recent years is new,” Bloomberg said during a ceremony in Times Square, while surrounded by cheering tourism officials. “That means more guests in our hotels, more shoppers in our stores, larger audiences in our museums and theaters, more diners at our restaurants.”
A healthy city economy benefits all. So will the naysayers only remember the snowstorm of 2010 when they think of Bloomberg? In my books this mayor has done significantly more good for this City than any other mayor before him. We should be thankful.
Cornell University is the winner of a competition to build a new science and engineering campus in the city: An official announcement from Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected later today.
The city has offered free land on Roosevelt Island and up to $100 million worth of infrastructure. In a major sign of strength, the Cornell bid received a $350 million anonymous donation to help build the campus. Stanford University — another top contender — announced Friday it was pulling its bid.
City officials hope a new school will spawn hundreds of new companies, along with tens of thousands of jobs and billions in economic activity over the next three decades. Now THAT’S what I call a strong plan for long term AND short term job creation: jobs for design and building now, and a school that will be a draw for the best from around the country and the world. Now if only Mr. Bloomberg (or a clone) went to Washington……wouldn’t it be nice if all these “presidential” political hacks actually provided this kind of thinking as opposed to their tired, pathetic, partisan drivel.
New York’s future looks bright indeed.
The news is out: Wall Street is shrinking with more than 200,000 jobs lost in the global financial-services industry this year, eclipsing 174,000 in 2009, according to a report by Max Abelson of Bloomberg. (That’s a lot of potential real estate buyers and renters). Wall Street rebounded from the financial crisis of 2008 with the help of unprecedented government support, including loans from the U.S, but this is very different and may indicate a structural change in the banking industry: with higher capital requirements, the failure of exotic financial products and diminished proprietary trading, the industry may just be undergoing a significant paradigm shift.
Banks, insurers and asset managers in Western Europe have been hardest hit, announcing about 105,000 lay-offs this year, 66 percent more than the region’s losses in 2008 at the depths of the financial crisis. The 50,000 job cuts in North America this year are more than twice last year’s yet less than a third of the 175,000 in 2008. Will this affect the New York luxury real estate market?
I hear repeatedly a very depressed tone on Wall Street: there is tremendous anger at those angry at Wall Street, a true amazement how the world sees Wall Streeters as the only culprits in the financial meltdown, when obviously there is a lot of blame to go around. A common theme is the anger against new regulation: one has to wonder how effective this regulation will be when John Corzine spoke so eloquently 3 years ago about the need for regulation, and then just a few months later revealed his MF GLOBAL was leveraged at 40 : 1 …..as opposed to Lehman’s 32 : 1……
The culture on Wall Street has been a breeding ground for excessive greed in the past few years: the intense demands on bankers and corporations to produce acute profits and better-than-forecast results EVERY SINGLE quarter is obviously not sustainable. And bankers are not alone in the blame for this greed: all of us who own stocks, including pension funds and those receiving escalating benefits, were used to never-ending stock price escalations, huge profits, etc. It is the perfect example of extremism. And the press thrives on extremism: its always a much more colorful story, right?
Extremism has failed the banking industry. Extremism has failed entitlement programs. Extremism is failing our political system on the left and the right. Extremism in home pricing helped topple the economy. The problem with extremism is that it is not grounded in reality. Extreme appraisals resulted in over-valued real estate and extreme pricing escalations. Extremism on the left and the right killed the super-committee’s ability to formulate a simple plan for debt reduction. Extremism produces news that is sensationalist, not substantial. Extremism of labor unions produces jobs……outside of the USA. Extremism in technology replaces the need for human jobs.
As we watch the year come to a close, what will be interesting to see is whether those fired were fired to maintain the quality of income for those remaining. Is 2011 the year where we all become aware of extremism in all areas of life and decide its not working?
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on November 7th, 2011
Mayor Bloomberg recently passed most of the blame for the Housing crisis on Congress. Occupy Wall Street is blaming Wall Street. I grew up in South Africa in the 60′s and 70′s, a time when the country was plagued by a host of sins. was a court-like restorative justice body assembled after the abolition of apartheid. Witnesses who were identified as victims of gross human rights violations were invited to give statements about their experiences, and some were selected for public hearings. Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from both civil and criminal prosecution. Maybe its time for us in the USA to come together for a TRUTH AND RECONCILLIATION COMMISSION addressing the numerous sins around the Housing crisis and subsequent financial meltdown that has kept the country stuck in miserable recovery after the GREAT RECESSION.
With everyone blaming everyone, I think this process could re-direct our attention away from blame and start to focus on how to fix the problem and prevent it from happening in the future…..honestly. Let’s face it, there is a lot of blame to go around. If you recall, Congress passed laws that encouraged and often required banks to provide mortgages to less than stellar lower income buyers. Many buyers bought homes they knew they could not afford. Many homeowners re-financed their homes to take out large chunks of cash to spend at the Mall as if their home was an ATM…..banks, book writers, brokers, financial planners and friends encouraged it. Banks and brokers encouraged buyers to buy homes that were well outside of their affordability zone. (The conomy was booming and surely, your income would rise forever?) The Fed kept interest rates low. Presidents Bush and Clinton both pushed the concept of homeownership for all. The banks took these new laws as an opportunity to manipulate the system, buying and selling mortgages, then re-packaging them as swaps and selling them, but bet against them without full disclosure of just how bad they were….probably the most fraudulent of all the activities, although the appraisers who over-appraised the true value of many homes are probably as guilty of criminal activity. Then there were the real estate investors who bought and sold for quick profits, artificially causing housing shortages that caused pricing to spike…..artificially. Then there is the whole financial system that is based mostly on excessive consumption and easy credit….a system that encourages people to spend more than they can afford, at all levels. What about the entire political system that has not provided sufficient education to the country in the most practical of areas: managing your personal finances. Does anyone teach this subject at school? Then throw in the self help book writers that said if you imagine it, it will come true….buy now and get rich quick! What about religious institutions that did not address the subject of greed often enough?
The HOUSING TRUTH AND RECONCILLIATION COMMISSION may finally reveal that we were all responsible for the meltdown in some way, whether directly or indirectly (by not voicing our objections loudly?). So maybe one HUGE confession session could resolve all of this and turn our attention to where it should be: SOLUTIONS.