The Real Deal New York

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Publisher's Note

May 2008
  • New terrain forces brokers to adjust

    Brokers switch to repping buyers, short sales

    As the national housing slowdown pervades even New York City — a previously unthinkable prospect — brokers are scrambling for tips on how to make the best of the downturn. Manhattan’s sales volume in the past quarter decreased by 34 percent year over year, according to a leading market report, and inventory edged up to its highest level in three years. The outer boroughs and suburbs have seen the worst of it, though, with double-digit price declines […]… [more]

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  • Manhattan’s biggest firms

    Elliman leads annual survey of residential firms

    Go to charts Despite a slight drop in its broker ranks, Prudential Douglas Elliman reigns supreme as Manhattan’s biggest residential brokerage. But the Corcoran Group, the second-biggest firm in terms of the number of agents, inched out the archrival this year in exclusive sales listings. In our annual survey of the top Manhattan firms, The Real Deal found that while Elliman secured the No. 1 spot in size, a ranking it has maintained since the […]

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  • Top townhouse broker speaks

    Press-shy Del Nunzio tries to break own mansion sale record

    When Penthouse founder Bob Guccione’s former 25-room mansion first hit the market in 2006, New York’s moneyed elite turned up their noses — and largely ignored brokers trying to sell it. It’s not easy convincing someone to shell out $50 million for a property usually mentioned in the tabloids in the same sentence as “porn magnate” and “out-raunched Hugh Hefner.” But where others saw pasties and G-strings, Paula Del Nunzio of Brown Harris Stevens saw the upper-crust cachet of another former resident. […]

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  • Heading back to school

    Brushing up while real estate markets cool

    When the economy dips and layoffs rise, it’s not uncommon for workers to want to retool their skills and return to the classroom. But what is happening to education within the real estate sector, which has played a pivotal role in the unraveling of America’s economy? This month, The Real Deal has decided to lift the curtain and take a look at the health of real estate education. It turns out that the scope of programs is as varied as the […]

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  • Macklowe tower rises under radar

    Risky spec project eclipsed by mogul’s financial troubles

    As the real estate world waits to see if Harry Macklowe can save his real estate empire, a smaller contingent is anxiously watching to see if he can pull off a minor miracle by completing his speculative office tower at 510 Madison Avenue. Originally envisioned as a condo-hotel, the 350,000-square-foot spec tower is under construction as a boutique office tower for the private equity and hedge fund market. “What’s working against him, at this time, is the timing,” said attorney Jonathan Adelsberg, co-chair […]

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  • Dirt cheapens at building sites

    Land prices start to slide for developers in outer boroughs

    Land is often the crux of a great development deal, but in New York City, where developable land is scarce, it often comes with an expensive price tag. Now, some developers say they are seeing signs of change. Ralph Trionfo president/broker of Upside Ventures, a commercial real estate firm, said he is about to list an approximately 200,000-square-foot mixed-use development lot in Long Island City for $125 per buildable square foot. He said last year at this time, lots in the same […]

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  • Bookstores move to the basements

    Rising rents force even the big chains to relocate

    Chelsea lost a mainstay of its cultural nerve center last month when its block-long Barnes & Noble closed its doors for good after 14 years on Ladies’ Mile. The store has fast become the seminal symbol of the micro- and macro-challenges facing the national bookstore chains in New York City: Soaring rents and competition from online retailers such as Amazon.com are pressuring Barnes & Noble (with nine Manhattan stores) and Borders (with five Manhattan stores) to carve out a more affordable real estate […]

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  • Housing prices in many domestic markets may be cooling, but interest in real estate education remains hot. An industry that has always been welcoming of dilettantes and the ladies-who-lunch set is maturing and is creating demands for more trained professionals. An informal survey of both undergraduate and graduate real estate university programs around the country reveals that despite a softening in many housing markets, interest from students is growing slightly, and the real estate profession […]

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  • Teaching brokers the business

    How the city's largest residential brokerage firms approach training

    Every real estate brokerage takes a slightly different approach to training new hires. The Real Deal surveyed six of the city’s largest and busiest residential firms, and found programs ranging from a month-and-a-half intensive curriculum involving exams to one agency where training is comprised of only a truncated discussion on the nuances of co-ops. Executives from all firms surveyed said voluntary continuing education is strongly encouraged. Bellmarc co-founder Neil Binder didn’t just write the book […]

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  • Not long ago, during the peak of the real estate boom, aspiring agents would camp outside the state Division of Licensing Services’ Lower Manhattan office to secure spots at licensing exams. The test was given once a week on a first-come, first-serve basis, and demand was so strong that pushing, shoving and even fistfights occurred. Since real estate has lost some of its sizzle, fewer people are signing up to take the exam, now administered […]

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