“Golf and dating don’t mix,” Larry David once said. But golf and real estate? That’s another matter altogether.
Some of New York real estate’s top professionals gathered Monday at the Inwood Country Club, for The Real Deal’s sixth annual golf outing. The event brought together golfers of all skill levels, from the horrendous to the Woodsian.
Though the mood on the course was buoyant, given the sunshine, cigars and constantly-replenished Tiki bar, dealmakers were definitely more cautious this year about where the market is heading. Deals are taking longer, and financing is much harder to come by, according to top brokers, lenders and attorneys. Still, there are positives.
“We’re seeing capital coming in from countries that we haven’t seen before,” said HFF’s Eric Anton. “British money is coming in, Japanese money is coming in ferociously.” Westwood Realty Associates’ Steven Vegh said that off-market deals continued to happen at a brisk pace.
JLL’s MarkAngelo (Marko) Kazanjian said that while construction financing had definitely dried up, there was a lot of opportunity to get creative in structured financing deals. “You’re seeing a lot of lower leverage, sub 60 percent,” he said.
On the development side, HAP Investments’ Amr Mohamed said the rise of nonunion labor had become one of the most significant changes of recent years. More developers, including HAP, were opting for nonunion even on mid-and-high-rise projects. “The union world will be struggling in a couple of years,” he said.
And on the residential side, it’s a game of patience. While sellers were being “a little stubborn to come around,” according to Town Residential’s Spencer Rhoda, it’s clear that Manhattan is becoming more of a buyer’s market. “As a whole, the market is taking a little bit more time per listing, negotiations are happening,” he said.
The winning foursome — Aron, Shelby and Mathew Rosenberg and Sam Fruchter, all of Rose & Berg Realty, shot a 12-under-par score of 59.
Of course, it being election season, politics were very much a part of the proceedings. Proudly sporting a Donald Trump hat was Jason Meister of Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group. Meister, who is working with Carl Paladino, head of Ellicott Development and the Trump campaign’s New York co-chair, said the election wasn’t even about Trump.
“It’s more about the last eight years and Hillary being an extension of Obama,” Meister said. “It’ll come down to three issues: the economy, immigration and national security.”
(All photos by Siobhan Harrington for The Real Deal)