Real estate execs hope market will improve with new president

January 21, 2009 08:58AM

President Barack Obama was sworn in yesterday, and real estate executives are hoping the market will turn around with the new administration. Michele Conte, director of sales at the Midtown luxury condo the Centurion, said she is hoping Obama will bring back the foreign buyer. At an international property show last year, Conte said that European property developers and sales agents wanted a Democratic president because they believed the Republican party had damaged the image of the United States. Robert Knakal, chairman of Massey Knakal Realty Services, said Obama’s first priority should be to keep capital gains and income taxes at their current levels. “His promise to raise income taxes on people making over $250,000 a year is a cloud hanging over the market,” Knakal said. Jonathan Miller, CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel, said he believes Obama will be able to provide leadership over the next few months. “We are definitely in some sort of limbo and hopefully his inauguration will start moving things in a new direction,” Miller said.