National Cheat Sheet: Building by the water, dishing on the LA luxury market & more

Sep.September 15, 2017 05:00 PM

Clockwise from top: Hurricane Irma in Miami, luxury real estate in Los Angeles, and multifamily construction

Building in coastal cities: “We have to learn how to live with water”
After hurricanes in Texas and Florida cause flooding in major cities, real estate pros gathered to discuss the future of developing on the waters edge. “We have to control how we develop these cities,” Judith Rodin, former president of the Rockefeller Foundation, said. “We have to learn how to live with water.” [TRD]

Multifamily construction is slowing down across the country
Despite rising demand for rental units, starts for buildings with five ore more units dropped 17 percent in July. Apartment construction is slowing because of the massive increase in apartment inventory, according to Commerce Department data. Starts for single-family homes were down 0.5 percent, as well, as overall housing starts dropped for the fourth time in five months. [TRD]

Risks and rewards for developers who do their own construction
Some developers are opting to do their own construction work, returning to an older model of business. Being their own general contractor offers developers more control of a project, but it also caries additional risks and responsibilities. “A developer of scale, all the big guys, they can afford to do this,” said John Livingston, chief executive of AECOM Capital. “But if the world slows down, they are probably taking on more risk than they bargained for.” [TRD]

Housing industry praises newly confirmed HUD deputy
The Senate confirmed Pam Patenaude as the next deputy secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. housing industry heaped praise on her. Patenaude, currently the president of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families, will handle most of the day to day operations for HUD. “She brings with her deep knowledge of real-estate finance and housing issues, and has the right experience to be successful in this job,” David Stevens, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association said. [HousingWire]


Residential leases hit a nine-year high in Manhattan
The number of residential leases signed in Manhattan in August increased 12 percent over last year and reached a nine-and-a-half-year high, according to a new Douglas Elliman report. Last month, 7,061 new leases were signed, but annual vacancy has also risen because of an increase in new inventory, the report found. [TRD]

Top brokers tell TRD what the LA luxury market is really like
Industry leaders dished on the state of the luxury market at The Real Deal’s first Los Angeles forum this week. While some prices are cartoonishly high, they agreed that Southern California still is a growth market. Rather than selling the “tangible value” of a property, listings are “selling the sizzle of L.A.,” said Kofi Nartey, who heads Compass’ sports and entertainment division. [TRD]

When Irma visited Florida, where did Miami’s real estate pros go?
With mandatory evacuation orders in place before for Hurricane Irma, most of Miami’s real estate players rode out the storm in places like New York City, Los Angeles, Montreal and Buenos Aires — although a few stayed home. “We went through a scary 36-hour ordeal, just like everybody else,” said Nir Shoshani, co-founder and principal of NR Investments. [TRD]

Harvey could ease Houston’s office space overstock
As Houston cleans up from massive flooding brought on by Hurricane Harvey, there could be a silver lining for the city’s commercial real estate market. Local observers believe government and relief agencies will lease some of the vacant office space, while displaced companies will also have to rent alternate offices. [Houston Chronicle]

San Francisco approves plan for up to 2,150 new homes at Pier 70
The San Francisco planning commission approved a 28-acre mixed-use development by Forest City this week. The Pier 70 site could have up to 2,150 new residential units or in an alternate scenario be built with 1,100 residences with more emphasis on commercial space. The development still needs to be approved by the city’s Board of Supervisors.  [Curbed]

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