The Real Deal New York

Trophy property prices are nearing another bubble: LeFrak

May 19, 2011 05:45PM

Richard LeFrak, head of the LeFrak Organization that owns some 25,000 apartments across the country, including the large apartment complex in Queens known as LeFrak City, appeared on CNBC this morning to discuss the current real estate market (see video above). LeFrak said the commercial real estate market has almost fully rebounded from the downturn, thanks to the cheap interest rates set by the Federal Reserve System. In fact, LeFrak said “trophy properties” in the commercial sector are “fully priced” and are so expensive they “may even be on the edge of another bubble.” As a result, he thinks investors will start dipping into Class B and C properties where yields are larger. LeFrak said the residential market is trending towards multi-family properties, which are “doing spectacular” because of the difficulty in obtaining financing, a shifting mindset away from homeownership as an investment and increased opportunity for job mobility with renting. LeFrak said he believes home prices will fall at least another 10 to 15 percent. Finally, the real estate investor said the Miami condo market has improved dramatically thanks to foreign buyers.

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