REBNY: 'The Trough Is Coming'

The Real Estate Board of New York held a luncheon at the Sheraton in midtown today, with members of a panel stacked with CEOs coming to a general consensus that the market’s temperature has dropped substantially from the searing hot days of early 2007.

That concept is hardly shocking for anyone who’s picked up a newspaper any time since August, but it seems relatively significant that some top members of the industry–a profession normally dominated by bullish, positive statements, at least on the record–candidly acknowledged the rough climate.

Of course, with the possibility of altering perceptions and moving markets on the line, the panelists—L&L Holding’s David Levinson, Tishman Construction CEO Daniel Tishman, Newmark Knight Frank CEO Barry Gosin, and Halstead Property President Diane Ramirez—sandwiched any bad piece of news with optimism.

“If you’re in the market for the long hold, it’s fairly easy to even out the peaks and the troughs," Mr. Tishman said. "So there was a great peak at the beginning of this year; and I’m not sure we’re in a trough yet, but the trough is coming." He added that New York is likelier than other cities to shake off any economic troubles.

Between Mr. Tishman and the others, the abridged take on the market seemed to be as follows:

  • Rising construction costs = bad
  • Weak dollar = good
  • Declining availability of credit = bad
  • Expected long term growth = good