News Alerts, Sept. 16, 2013, Afternoon Edition, #RealEstate +

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  1. Foreign Investors NYC Real Estate | Zhang Xin SOHO News Alerts, Sept. 16, 2013, Afternoon Edition, #RealEstate +

    This makes sense.

    International investors have also recently started making more direct investments in Manhattan real estate — purchasing a stake in a building, or providing equity or debt financing to a local developer, rather than investing in a real estate investment trust or a large fund like the Blackstone Group.

    While direct investments have some drawbacks, they allow foreign companies to make more decisions about which assets to buy and sell.

    “We just came out of a period where people saw that not every investment paid off well,” said Howard Michaels, CEO of the Manhattan real estate banking firm the Carlton Group. Now “we’re seeing more direct investment because the investors want to have more control over their decisions, as opposed to bring part of a fund.”

    Read the source article …

  2. Meet the Gen Xers taking over NYC real estate News Alerts, Sept. 16, 2013, Afternoon Edition, #RealEstate +

    They’re young, they’re tech-savvy, and some even wear sweatshirts and trendy retro-style sneakers to the office.

    No, we’re not talking about the newest batch of Silicon Alley CEOs. Meet real estate’s new ruling class: The 30- and 40-something executives who have recently taken over operations at New York City development firms, hotel companies, investment banks and real estate brokerages.

    While many of these heavy hitters — including the Related Company’s Jeff Blau, Forest City Ratner’s MaryAnne Gilmartin, Silverstein Properties’ Marty Burger and Tishman Speyer’s Rob Speyer — have been in the industry for years, a slew of their venerable predecessors have recently retired, opening up the top jobs at their respective firms in an unprecedented, industry-wide changing of the guard.

    These new leaders are collectively overhauling some long-followed industry norms, and reinvigorating a market sector known for embracing the status quo.

    “This is not really an industry known for being innovative,” said Gilmartin, 49, who became CEO of Forest City Ratner in April.

    And even though most have been groomed by their predecessors for leadership positions, this new generation brings a fresh perspective that is impacting not only their own companies, but the New York real estate industry as a whole, sources said. For example: These younger moguls are more likely to have MBAs than their predecessors, to invest in neighborhoods that their companies have previously ignored, to go after global financing and to keep their companies at the forefront of technology.

    “They’re all coming up at once,” said Mitchell Moss, a professor of urban planning at New York University. “They have energy, they have know-how, and they want to have an impact. They don’t just want to sit back and collect rent receipts like some peop le before them.”

    It’s a long but interesting article.

    Read the source article …

  3. Warren Buffett Housing | Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices News Alerts, Sept. 16, 2013, Afternoon Edition, #RealEstate +

    He’s not just dipping his toe.

    Billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices venture has added nine new real estate broker affiliates throughout the U.S., evidence of his growing confidence in the housing market. Most recently the venture signed affiliate agreements with two brokerages in Texas and California.

    Read the source article …

  4. Prices Are Rising for New Homes, and the Land They Are Built On – News Alerts, Sept. 16, 2013, Afternoon Edition, #RealEstate +

    A few months ago, Michael N. Felix’s phone started ringing again after four years of silence. Mr. Felix is a land broker whose business dried up when the housing market crashed. But with home prices now rising faster than anyone expected, builders are again looking for what, in the land trade, is referred to as dirt.

    For builders, there is even a sense of déjà vu. “The new lots that are coming out,” Mr. Just said, “are almost the prices that they were in 2005 when everything crashed.”

    That’s not a lovely note on which to end, but it’s factual.

    Read the source article …

  5. Global Institutions after the Crisis by Ngaire Woods – Project Syndicate News Alerts, Sept. 16, 2013, Afternoon Edition, #RealEstate +

    Not good:

    Regulators face a Sisyphean task, owing to the absence of strong and consistent political support for reining in the financial titans. A well-resourced financial sector intensively lobbies the most influential governments in global finance.

    The 2008 crisis highlighted the need for international cooperation to regulate finance and mitigate the effects of a crisis. Yet the global resources and instruments needed to manage (if not avert) the next crisis have not been secured.

    Read the source article …*/

  6. Sober Look: A housing affordability index scenario caps housing prices and mortgage rates News Alerts, Sept. 16, 2013, Afternoon Edition, #RealEstate +

    This will slow the bubbles building.

    The Affordability index had peaked in early 2012 and has been declining rather sharply since, as home prices began to recover. Along the way however the declines were offset by falling mortgage rates – until recently.

    The conclusion we can draw from this exercise is that with household income growth remaining weak (see post), there is a natural cap on this combination of rates and house prices. Another 1% jump in rates and a 10% increase in home prices and a significant portion of the US population gets priced out of the housing market, forcing prices to stall or even correct.

    Read the source article …

  7. Summers Would Spark Confirmation Fight of the Century – Bloomberg News Alerts, Sept. 16, 2013, Afternoon Edition, #RealEstate +

    [Note: Larry Summers has withdrawn his name from consideration. We include this post to show you why.] Important questions await Larry Summers if Barack Obama nominates him for Fed Chair. Here’s one reason why.

    … attention may be drawn to the former Treasury secretary’s relationship with Citigroup Inc. (C), for which he has worked as a consultant since at least 2012.

    Criticism from right and left will naturally coalesce around this point. Citigroup was at the center of what went wrong with the financial system in the years leading to the 2007 crisis. The cozy relationship between then-Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit and Tim Geithner, as head of the New York Fed and then as Treasury secretary, has attracted a lot of negative attention, and for good reason. The bank was bailed out on very generous terms in both 2008 (under President George W. Bush) and in 2009 (on Obama’s watch), because many top officials worried that its collapse would crater the economy.

    Read the source article …

  8. Chinese Yuan Enters Top 10 Most-Traded Currencies – Capitalogix News Alerts, Sept. 16, 2013, Afternoon Edition, #RealEstate +

    The Chinese yuan has vaulted into the Top-10 of most frequently traded currencies for the first time, the Bank for International Settlements said in its foreign exchange survey.

    Read the source article …

  9. New Single-Family Home Size Rises | RISMedia News Alerts, Sept. 16, 2013, Afternoon Edition, #RealEstate +

    Home sizes fall into the recession as some homebuyer [sic] cut back, and then sizes rise as high-end homebuyers, who face fewer credit constraints, return to the housing market in relatively greater proportions.

    Read the source article …

  10. Rental apartment construction set to boom – The Globe and Mail News Alerts, Sept. 16, 2013, Afternoon Edition, #RealEstate +

    Some of Canada’s biggest real estate owners, from pension funds to REITs to insurers, are showing more interest in developing new apartment buildings in major cities than they have in decades, a phenomenon that could change the way renters live.

    The emerging trend comes in the face of what industry players characterize as a near-perfect storm: The cost of buying older apartment buildings has jumped; financing for new construction is relatively inexpensive due to low interest rates; rental demand and rents are rising; fears of provincial rent control regimes are subsiding; condo markets are weakening; and institutional real estate owners are looking for places to park their money.

    “For the first time in generations it’s starting to make sense to build rental apartment buildings in big cities,” said Macquarie Securities analyst Michael Smith. “I think we’re in the early stages of a new era. If condo prices correct some more and mortgage rules get tougher, I see purpose-built rentals in big cities starting to fill the void.”

    Added to that are four rounds of tighter government mortgage insurance rules, while the country’s banking regulator is considering tightening mortgage lending rules for banks.

    “Every time Ottawa changes the mortgage rules and makes it tougher to buy a house or a condo, that’s going to push people into the rental market,” Mr. Smith said.

    Read the source article …