The Real Deal New York

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July 2008
  • The biggest problems in New York City real estate

    Experts weigh in on how to fix industry crises

    In the wake of the subprime and credit crises, problems are becoming apparent even in New York City’s usually buoyant real estate market. Although real estate in New York City has escaped some of the ravages the rest of the country has suffered, cracks in the facade are starting to show. For this supplement, The Real Deal has chosen to bring some plaster: First, we home in on macro difficulties, as well as some less-discussed problems. We then weigh in with the advice […]… [more]

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  • In Hamptons, it’s no vacation

    Building permits drop, spec homes sit and restaurateurs grow wary amid slowdown

    Go to chart Multimillion-dollar homes are still finding takers in the Hamptons, but the notoriously tony vacation destination is showing serious signs of softening. While the market there does not mirror the meltdown in the rest of the country, the Wall Street cash that has long flooded into the East End is clearly not flowing as freely this summer. This month, The Real Deal offers a series of stories on what’s happening on the South […]

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  • Staving off commercial foreclosure

    In change from past, lenders discount, sell off mortgages on distressed properties

    This time, the mortgage banking industry is not taking any chances. Stung by the subprime mortgage crisis, the tightening credit market, Wall Street layoffs and other bleak economic indicators, banks are nervous. And this time around — in contrast to other periods in real estate history — lenders are not waiting for the owners of commercial properties to go into foreclosure. Instead they are discounting and selling off mortgages on commercial properties where borrowers are having trouble making payments. Selling the mortgages rather […]

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  • Developers falling into a Catch-22

    Residential developers in bind with slow sales

    It’s a tough time to be a residential developer, as The Real Deal explores in a series of stories. Projects are taking longer to sell out, placing developers in a bind as lenders typically won’t let them lower prices. And as units sit, developers find themselves with additional costs. Some developers are choosing to go with Plan B and switch from condos to rentals, but even that is far from a safe bet these days. Developers in a bind over prices Shouldering the costs Choosing Plan […]

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  • Real estate sites rise in ‘Bloglyn’

    How the borough's blogs have changed brokering

    When 55 Berry, a converted loft building in Williamsburg, came to market in 2005, it had problems. Buyers weren’t materializing, so the developer switched sales agents, then cut prices. When that didn’t work, there was a second remarketing — and prices were chopped again. Bloggers seized on 55 Berry’s troubles, tracking them, often mockingly, online. Curbed.com alone had over a dozen posts related to 55 Berry. The task of selling 55 Berry eventually fell to […]

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  • Crisis or correction?

    Repairing the structural cracks of financing

    In the space of a year, the mortgage market went from a sprint to nearly a stop. Although the Federal Reserve has tried to stimulate the market by lowering rates and making it easier for banks to borrow money, brokers and economists have noted that developers, building buyers and consumers continue to struggle to get loans, particularly from large banks. In addition to the troubles in the primary market, as banks have struggled to stabilize […]

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  • Shoring up construction safety

    Grappling with rising death toll, city proposes greater oversight of job sites

    This year’s rash of construction-related deaths has placed intense scrutiny on New York City’s Department of Buildings — the agency charged with ensuring that construction sites are safe and buildings are structurally sound — to promulgate reforms. With scores of construction sites across the city, that job has become increasingly difficult. Accidents on construction sites in the city have killed 17 people this year, bringing the total to 148 deaths since 2002. Nine deaths occurred […]

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  • How New Yorkers spell foreclosure relief

    Congressional foreclosure bill may have meager benefits in city

    Although it may be by a smaller margin than in the rest of the country, New York’s foreclosure rate continues to climb. In April, 5,696 people lost the roofs over their heads, versus 4,099 in the year-ago quarter, for a 39 percent spike, according to RealtyTrac, an online database of foreclosed properties. Nationally, the increase was 65 percent, jumping to 243,353 from 147,708. Every borough in New York posted a rise of between 14 and […]

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  • Restoring credibility to appraisers

    Critics say new Cuomo reforms not far-reaching enough

    While many groups bear culpability for the subprime mortgage meltdown, appraisers, in particular, helped determine the sea levels that have put millions of Americans “underwater.” As the crisis has unfolded, the trustworthiness of appraisers has taken a massive hit. New regulations meant to restore the credibility of the profession have been enacted, but many real estate professionals still wonder whether enough has been done. “Appraisers felt threatened that they wouldn’t get business from banks if […]

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  • Fighting rubber ruler measurements

    Office tenants find ways to avoid charges for hallways and staircases

    Every industry uses its own metrics. Fabrics come by the yard, gas is sold by the gallon, office space in New York City is rented by the square foot. As it turns out, however, renting precise amounts of office space isn’t quite that simple. As with most things in the real estate world, New York is in its own universe, one where building sizes sometimes seem to grow and shrink based on market conditions rather […]

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