The Real Deal New York

National Cheat Sheet: San Francisco’s luxury homes are selling faster than those in any other US market … & more

By Aidan Gardiner | April 13, 2018 12:18PM

Clockwise from top left: Westchester luxury home listings spent an average 798 days on the market in 2017, Rapid Realty was slapped with a racketeering charges, WeWork bought a Chinese co-working company and agents at new developments are taking home less amid sluggish sales.

The best and worst markets in which to sell a luxury home in US
The city by the bay has quickest luxury home sales in the country, according to research put out by Concierge Auctions. But that’s not to say luxury homes are selling quickly overall. Luxury homes in San Francisco moved within 55 days on average, but nationwide a whopping 72 percent of all luxury listings spent more than 180 days on the market, up 13 percent from 2015. And when those homes did find buyers, they went for an average of 71 percent of their original ask. As a point of comparison to San Francisco’s relative success, Westchester’s luxe homes spent an average 798 days on the market while Miami’s managed to sell after 608 days. [TRD]

WeWork buys Chinese co-working company for $400M
The American co-working company bought a Chinese co-working firm, Naked Hub for a cool $400 million. Founded by Shanghai-based luxury resort operator, Naked Hub had bought a 70 percent stake in Australian co-working company Gravity in January. WeWork has acquired a number of companies recently. Last year it bought the coding-focused Flatiron School and invested heavily in The Wing, a nationwide women-only co-working company. [TRD]

Rapid Realty slapped with racketeering suit
Sky Financial Group filed a lawsuit against Rapid Realty, alleging that it essentially ran a Ponzi scheme. Rapid Realty advised franchiesees to seek money from the financial firm. Since 2016, Sky doled out about $2.68 million in loans to 25 of its franchises in five states. But all 25 have defaulted, due in part to the $50,000 franchise fee Rapid takes, according to the suit. This comes amid other accusations by franchisees that Rapid’s founder, Anthony Lolli, skimmed some of those loans to fund his lavish lifestyle. Rapid’s founder dismissed accusations as “10,000,000 percent based on false information.” [TRD]

MAJOR MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

New York’s new-development agents are earning less in sluggish market
With condos lingering on the market longer and a slew of discounts, agents trying to sell them are stretching budgets and taking home less. It’s true that inventory’s up, but sales are down. In Manhattan, sales dropped 19 percent in the final quarter of 2017. That dip pushed prices down and lengthened the overall time to sell out the entire inventory. “In a market like this, when a project takes longer to sell, there’s going to be pain on all fronts,” a brokerage president said. “If it takes four years instead of two years, that cost is astronomical. Every agent today is working harder to make less.” [TRD]

Innovators to use cutting-edge tech to transform Miami
Miami is home to firms pushing the envelope of today’s technology to transform Miami’s real estate markets. RealConnex aims to use artificial intelligence to delve into its deep well of information to connect people throughout the industry, discover trends and deliver personalized information to individual users. Another Miami firm hopes to use augmented reality to help people visualize properties. Many are watching blockchain — the system behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin — to see if it can improve leasing and sales processes. [TRD]

Mayor warns ‘veto’ of any disruption to embattled $2.4B Wynn casino project in Boston Harbor
The mayor of Everett wants to stay the course with the embattled Wynn Resorts casino coming to his corner of Boston Harbor. The company’s CEO is reportedly weighing selling the project off, much to the chagrin of mayor Carlo DeMaria, who wants to hold the company to the promises it already made to him to secure its lease. Wynn Resorts is currently weathering an investigation into its integrity and financial stability as well as accusations of sexual harassment against its founder, Steve Wynn, whose name will likely be removed from its Massachusetts license. [Boston Globe]

Short-term rentals and Airbnb could soon come to LA as major hurdle is cleared
A city council committee approved a measure to regulate short-term rentals and businesses like Airbnb setting it up for a vote before the full council. The bill would cap the number of days an owner can rent to 120, with provisions for those in good standing with the city to exceed that. Proponents hope the bill would cut down on red tape while preserving vital housing for LA. [TRD]

Millennials drawn to Chicago bring real estate investment opportunities with them
Tech jobs and affordable housing are making the windy city a “Millennial magnet,” according to a recent study. The influx should also bring real estate investment opportunities in the multifamily, office and shopping center segments. Younger millennials will probably rent for next seven to 10 years, according to the study, by TH Real Estate, which said Chicago was following in the footsteps of over millennial hot spots like Austin and Atlanta. [TRD]