Posts Tagged ‘new york real estate’
Monday, May 13th, 2013
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on May 13th, 2013
Is it possible that sales at 150 CHARLES STREET are breaking a world record? After reaching the 3 month date on the calendar this weekend (February 11th, 2013 being the day we started sending out contracts) we are now in contract for almost $750 million worth of apartments in the building, surely a record for speed of sales at prices that are record-setting in areas too. While certainly an ‘overnight success’, I started working on this remarkable West Village building with my colleagues over 5 years ago: Back then we were hoping to break the $ 2,000/sf barrier which we felt was easily do-able……as of today we are averaging well over $ 3,000/sf or 50% above original estimates.
150 CHARLES STREET is a mirror to the real estate market in New York in general, where heated sales activity continues across the board, especially in the sale of high end, brand new buildings. A huge thanks to Darren, Raphael, Susan, John, Madeline, Peter, Elizabeth, Therese and all those involved in making this historical sales effort possible…..and so much fun!
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on May 8th 2013
Many of the very successful new buildings being sold right now in New York can attribute a chunk of their success to investor buyers: these are the buyers who plan to either re-sell or rent the units they are buying upon completion of these building which should be anywhere from 12 to 36 months from now. Many of these apartments are very high end and will command rental rates in the teens, 20′s and 30′s monthly: will there be enough renters for all this super high end rental inventory coming to New York?
Now that the consumer is more focused on ownership than renting, will the pool of very high end renters shrink? Does the sound of make-a-quick-buck by buying and selling or renting in a new building sound eerily familiar?
Should buyers of high end real estate be concerned about the volume of investor buyers when buying in a new building? As I complete the sales process for 150 CHARLES STREET with my colleagues Darren and Raphael, I am amazed at the super-low volume of investor buyers in the building…..but I fear we may be the exception to the rule.
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on May 7th, 2013
It’s music to New York’s explosive new developments market: Steinway Hall has been purchased by its next door neighbor who plans to build another super-swanky condominium tower. What was once considered a mediocre block at best on New York’s 57th Street, where the two tallest condominium towers in New York are under construction, comes news that a third skyscraper will be built with apartments perched above the city at near-record heights. Throw in the second Extell Tower being planned as well as the MOMA Tower and thats a lot of mega-highrise apartments! This area is becoming the center of the Manhattan POWER TOWER.
The buyers of Steinway Hall are in informal talks with the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission and zoning officials about what they may build on the site, which includes the piano maker’s building and an adjacent parcel at 105-107 W. 57th St. that they purchased last year. The investors had plans for a 700-foot (213-meter) tower and now estimate that air rights acquired in the Steinway deal would allow them to go taller — potentially as Manhattan’s third-tallest residential building. Michael Stern, of JDS Development Group and the developer of 212 West 18th Street the uber-luxe condo perched above Chelsea (and the Verizon building), which agreed in March to buy the 16-story Steinway Hall and land beneath it with Property Markets Group and Atlantic Development Group said it will definitely be taller than 900 feet.
The JDS group’s project sits at the center of a high-rise construction boom in midtown Manhattan as developers take advantage of soaring luxury-condo demand. It’s on the same block as the current tallest residential building in the city, Extell Development Co.’s One57, which has set records with two condo sales valued at more than $90 million each. At 432 Park Avenue (@ 57th Street), Harry Macklowe and CIM Group are building a skyscraper on the former Drake Hotel site that’s slated to rise much taller than the Extell property which lost its claim to be the tallest residential tower in New York rather swiftly…
The site is in a special Midtown zoning district that doesn’t restrict building heights, and Park views start around 225ft above street level. This area is specifically appealing to out of town and foreign buyers seeking to be in the center of New York with the full Manhattan skyline views experience. They demand ultra-luxurious, high services and amenities buildings. One 57 is supposedly about 65% sold out at record prices, although it existed in a market when there was little or no competition. We will soon learn how deep this market is.
Saturday, April 20th, 2013
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on April 20th, 2013
Has a new pricing insanity set into the New York uber-luxury market with 33 official listings (with many more un-official ones!)above $ 30 million and three over $ 100 million: Is $ 100 million the new $ 50 million just within a matter of months? It appears so, and I call that hyper-luxoflation!
In this morning’s New York Times an entire article is dedicated to a developers quest to create a massive apartment on top of a rather mediocre building by buying up all the owners of the top floor units. The Times wrote a similar article a few months ago about another $ 100m listing……is this reporting or simply excessive Kardashian-style publicity-seeking? There are other examples of ’trophy’ apartments for sale on top of mediocre buildings……and they are not selling. There are too many mediocre properties priced into the stratosphere that simply do not warrant their asking prices, no matter how crazy-active this market is. Yes, there certainly are some outstanding properties asking very high prices……but those prices can be justified. Satisfying the ego of a seller is a dangerous precedent that seems to have found a place in our manic society: just how many Russian oligarch’s are there to buy these properties?
With gold’s plummeting pricing explained by lesser concerns about inflation, why exactly is the very top end of pricing in Manhattan inflating at a pace that is simply outside the realm of reality?
Friday, April 19th, 2013
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on April 19th, 2013
Last night was another one of those nights where trying to turn on the television was the usual annoyance. The salesperson at BOSE had told me the system was SUPER-SIMPLE……even an idiot could use it. Well, I must be a thorough idiot, because its still not easy. Calling BOSE is a joke: their tech support may be good for tech-savvy guys, but not me.
Now I hear that Apple wants to get into the living room by making its own TV set, and there have been plenty of rumors and reports about how and when it’s going to happen. An analyst says he’s learned that the set will go on sale late this year, for $1,500 to $2,500. If APPLE can do to the TV what it did to the computer and music, I am in! Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets says the “iTV” will be 60 inches on the diagonal, but could also come in 50- and 55-inch versions. Apple will also release a small “iRing” that fits on the viewer’s finger, allowing the user to control the screen by pointing, White says. The death of the antiquated, impossible-to-read-without-a-magnifying-glass remote? That could signal a revolution!
In addition, the set will come with tablet-like “mini iTVs” with 9.7-inch screens, the same as the full-size iPad, White said. The “iTV” will be able to send video to the smaller screens wirelessly around the house. The concept is similar to the way in which cable and satellite TV companies are starting to let their set-top boxes send video to iPads and other tablets. White says his report is based on gleanings from visits with unnamed Chinese and Taiwanese companies that supply Apple with components.
Apple doesn’t comment on future products before its launch events, but late company co-founder Steve Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson that he wanted to remake the TV and had figured out a way to do it. Last year, there were numerous analyst reports that said Apple would launch a TV set in 2012. Apple does sell an “Apple TV,” but it’s small box that connects to a TV to display movies and shows from iTunes. The i-TV may come in time to set Apple stock back on track after its painful plunge over the past 6 months. Simplifying the television experience could indeed be as big a revolution to the home as the i-pod was to music…….and I imagine owners of luxury New York real estate will clamber for this product.
Thursday, April 18th, 2013
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on April 18th, 2013
Corporate results are showing an eerily similar trend: profits are growing, but revenues are not. Is this mostly related to the fact that companies are not hiring while demand grows very slowly, thereby deriding profits mostly from reduced labor costs and low interest rates? Are existing workers forced to work harder and more efficiently to avoid hiring? The Great Depression has interrupted a decades-long trend of jobs steadily moving to the suburbs and hollowing out urban business districts across the U.S., a study finds.
City centers gained a greater share of employment than their outer rings between 2007 and 2010, according to a report from the Brookings Institute. Big suburban job losses, not large downtown gains — drove the shift and metropolitan economies are more decentralized than they were in 2000. The shift slowed during the downturn: The report follows up on a 2009 study that found a continuous migration of jobs from downtown to the suburbs between 1998 and 2006.
Urban revitalization and the notion of smart growth, which seeks to cluster housing and jobs near transit and entertainment, has had only limited success restoring downtowns. Now, faced with tight budgets wrought by the housing collapse, some metropolitan leaders say they’re redoubling efforts to nudge employers and workers toward locations that maximize the use of transit and existing infrastructure, cut pollution and improve quality of life. Maybe this explains the growth New York is experiencing? We are certainly seeing the results of heightened demand for luxury real estate: pricing on the high end is experiencing HYPER inflation in some areas…..we call it hyper-luxoflation as inflation on the lower end is significantly weaker.
When jobs are near housing and public transportation, commuting times, household expenses and government costs are cut. Not to mention quality of life if the large urban center actually addresses quality of life: yes, those parks and trees and bike lanes actually do make life better for most in New York. Now we are able to see the fruits of Mayor Bloomberg’s labors. With New York now providing so much better park space, trees, cultural centers, etc, the city keeps growing in its desirability for families to stay and not move to the suburbs. Bored suburbanites, or those who have lost their lives to lengthy commutes are moving back. And the jobs are here too.
New companies are moving here as they want to be right in the heart of that activity. Entrepreneurs start ventures that improve their communities: The entrepreneurial vibe necessitates density — density of ideas, people, culture. New York is an accessible place for these startups to get connected. And they are hiring and minting new millionaires weekly……the kind who buy high end real estate.
Saturday, March 16th, 2013
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on March 16th, 2013
The New York Times ran an article for this weekend’s REAL ESTATE section talking about the ‘Downtown Spring awakening’: 150 Charles Street, the Witkoff Group developed, CookFox-designed building in the West Village achieved over HALF A BILLION in sales in 4 weeks, certainly a record for New York real estate, and possibly globally. Unlike any other building, the buyer dedication to the West Village has been rather astounding with about 1 in 5 buyers opting to buy, where traditionally its 1 in 20-25 buyers/appointments who actually buy in new developments. Aside from the super-desirable location, separated from the West Side highway by a buffer zone of townhouses, buyers have resonated unlike any other time because of the beautiful, contextual design, the host of amenities including parking, a drive-through drop off, almost 40,000sf of pre-planted landscaping that is maintained by the building (a first), a 75ft swimming pool, 3,000sf gym, playroom, lounge, juice bar, service elevators…..and the list goes on. Add to this the fact that there are about 80 different floorplans (out of 91 units)so each apartment represents its own unique experience within the building, sensational views of charming Village street-scapes, the Hudson River and park and panoramic Southern and Northern skylines. The finishes are highly customized by Alan Wanzenberg and of a caliber never seen before in the West Village: they are elegant, classically contemporary in style and designed to transcend fashions and of-the-moment trends. A building of this caliber can never be reproduced ever again in a location of this stature, making the building a true collectors item.
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on March 10th, 2013
Everyone is chattering at the rising costs of a New York apartment. What most don’t realize is the dramatically increased costs of land, and worse, the rising costs of insurance during construction. Its time to reform New York state’s infamous scaffolding law. The law, which dates back to the late 1800s, has become a huge insurance headache for contractors who blame it for driving insurance rates to such levels that they are actually forcing up construction costs—and in some cases even stalling projects, according to the industry.
New York has put itself at an economic disadvantage as the only state with a scaffolding law, known as Section 240 of the state’s labor law code. Whereas every other state puts an equal burden on the worker to ensure they are protecting themselves at work, New York places an absolute liability on the developer and contractors.
If a worker falls or is injured by faulty scaffolding, the property managers are held liable regardless of unsafe behavior by the worker. Insurers typically make seven-figure settlements rather than risk an even bigger loss in court, but this has driven up the price of doing business. With New York City already the most expensive construction market in the country, developers and contractors are looking for any opportunity to reduce costs. The cost of doing business in New York is grossly inflated by insurance costs because insurers settle….they don’t go to court….and we have to pick up the tab. Thanks to the lawyers who created and protected this antiquated law for over a century.
Of course workers should be protected: that should always be a top priority, but the ability to present evidence in a liability case that can exonerate the building site manager if the worker is at fault is critical if we want to be fair. It is time for all parties to share responsibility.
Sunday, March 10th, 2013
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on March 9th, 2013
Now that New York real estate buyers are back to buying apartments from floor plans have you noticed how some developers ‘cook’ the numbers by including the kitchen in the living room dimensions to make the living room appear much larger dimensionally? Something is being cooked here…..
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on March 6th, 2013
For anyone wondering about the longterm future of wealth in the world and especially New York, here are some facts to ponder:
- Over the next 10 years, New York will see a rise of 36% of High Net Worth Individuals, those with assets above $ 30million……does that mean we need to build at least 3,000 new luxury apartments over the next decade?
- The number of people with $30m or more in net assets (referred to throughout this report as HNWIs) rose by 5% in 2012, or nearly 8,700.
- The combined wealth held by HNWI’s also grew by 2%, or $566bn, to just over $26 trillion in 2012.
- Over the next 10 years, 95,000 people are forecast to break the $30m wealth barrier – a cumulative 50% rise, which will take the total number of HNWIs across the globe to around 285,665.
- China is grappling with a “double whammy” of weaker exports and sluggish domestic demand: it is still expected to continue outperforming its rivals, overtaking the US as the world’s largest economy by the end of this decade, based on figures from the Economist Intelligence Unit.
- Wealth creation in China – and wider Asia – will continue, according to Wealth-X, with China’s ultra-wealthy population more than doubling by 2022. Indonesia is also expected to experience a relative boom over the next decade, albeit from a low base. HNWIs are tipped to climb by more than 400% to 5,161 by 2022.
- The number of HNWI’s in India is expected to more than double over the next 10 years, rising by 137% in Mumbai alone. This will give India – along with China and Japan – the highest number of HNWIs in Asia by 2022.
- North America will still have some 30% of the world’s HNWI’s in 2022, although this is down from the current 34%.
- Within the US, the biggest rise in the concentration of HNWI’s is expected to be outside New York, despite its status as the world’s pre-eminent global city. Wealth-X’s survey of HNWI populations in the world’s leading cities shows that Houston, San Francisco and Dallas will see the most significant rise in HNWIs in the US over the next 10 years. New York will still boast the largest number of HNWI’s of any city in the world in 2022.
- If you thought this week’s FORBES list of billionaires was staggering, that list should come close to DOUBLING over the next 10 years.
- HNWI’s across the globe remain concerned about the possible impact of punitive tax policies. France plans to hit high earners with a tax rate of up to 75%, while countries including Spain and Ireland have also imposed wealth or property taxes. Real estate taxes in many part of the USA are becoming absurd, especially in New York.
- The economic crisis may have put the brakes on global wealth creation to some extent. But it is clear that the appetite to build wealth, particularly in ambitious, rapidly developing nations, remains as strong as ever.