center of the universe
This Old House
The most heavily trafficked neighborhood in New York also happens to be one of the biggest economic hubs in the United States, according to a recent study. The Times Square Alliance and HR&A Analyst Inc. teamed up on a report on the economic impact of Times Square. The report, which can be downloaded from their website, showcases the dreaded tourist district as one of the largest economic powerhouses in New York and all of the United States.
This Old House
After improving in the first half of last year, the Case-Shiller Home Price Index began to plummet in the middle of 2011, and it has reached a new low with the release of the November numbers yesterday. As one of the stronger measures of the U.S. housing market, the index is closely watched, and any negative movement is seen as a problem for both housing and the economy. Now, analysts are predicting national housing prices will not recover at least until the spring.
Does this have any bearing on New York, considering the Case-Shiller only tracks single-family homes? In short, yes. “Obviously, housing weighs on the larger economy, so that has an impact on us,” said Harold Shultz, an analyst at the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, which closely follows the Case-Shiller from a city perspective.
Shadow inventory. It was supposed to be the boogeyman of the real estate bust, thousands upon thousands of unsold properties scattered across the city. Bought or built for more than they were worth, people would hang onto these homes until the market improved, giving a better appearance to the housing supply than actually existed. It’s like the difference between the standard and broad rates of unemployment.
No matter. To real estate doyenne and new Brooklynite Elizabeth Stribling, there is no shadow inventory, or so she tells The Times in one of its patented 30-Minute Interviews.
Long known for attracting a broad swath of aspiring professionals, the real estate industry continues to draw significant numbers despite the economic downturn and housing crisis. With sugarplum dreams and of hefty commissions (and, doubtless, the specter of 15CPW towering before their eyes), thousands of New Yorkers from all walks of life sit through the requisite classes, all hoping to pass the state examination for real estate brokers. The New York Times recently sat through a session in Queens and spoke to students hoping to try their luck in the real estate game.
After hearing that real estate brokers have been suffering in the recession, we decided to call John Burger, recently named America’s top broker, to see his take on the recession’s lingering effects on the industry.
Some good news and some bad news for the design and construction industry. The American Institute of Architect’s Architecture Billings Index—The Observer‘s favorite leading indicator—rebounded last month, according to numbers released today.
Hudson Yards. Atlantic Yards. The Williamsburg waterfront. For the past decade, residential development has been defined by the creation and conversion of soaring condo towers across the city. From Extell’s Ariel twins on the Upper West Side to so many of the Financial District’s former office buildings, this was the way we built, the way we were to live. But the era of the condo project is over
Those who are stubbornly optimistic about the return of the Manhattan office market might want to take a close look at this report from the New York Building Congress.
It looks like major commercial development in Manhattan is still sluggish, which is no surprise considering the recent recession. In fact, the report blames the downturn in significant new office construction on the “dramatic decline in employment along with a sharp rise in office vacancies.”
Still, ever-positive as the Building Congress is, the trade group sees a silver lining to this slowdown.