Matrix Blog

New York City

NYT v. WSJ Smogdown: Status of Chinese Investment in U.S. Real Estate

December 1, 2015 | 11:39 am | nytlogo | Favorites |

lianyungangchinaSmogYahoo
[Source: Yahoo News]

Last weekend I read two terrific articles on Chinese real estate investment in the U.S. but they seemed seemed to conflict – check out the headlines:

New York Times Chinese Cash Floods U.S. Real Estate Market

Wall Street Journal Chinese Pull Back From U.S. Property Investments The subtitle says it all – The nation’s economic and stock-market slump puts buyers on the sidelines

Are the Chinese flooding the U.S. market now or are they pulling back? Which is it? Or is it both?

In my recent trip to Shanghai, I spoke to and interviewed many, many real estate investors at The Real Deal Forum. I got the impression that investment has pulled back a bit in 2015 but expectations were high that investment would expand again, although not to the level of the past 5 years. Of course I was doing this in a biased environment – at in investor conference. I was consistently told that government efforts to prop up the stock market spooked much of the smart money out of the market since the actions were taken to calm everyday investors.

The New York Times piece seemed prompted by a P.R. pitch from the Chinese developer for their Dallas suburb project enticed with a suburban angle. It was a refreshing angle since Chinese real estate investment in the U.S. has been an urban narrative and specifically focused on the high end. The article illustrated just how massive the investment patterns have been. To date the narrative has been focused on super luxury condos in expensive metropolitan areas, while the suburbs got limited attention.

NAR2015internationalCHINESEnyt

The WSJ article is more orientated towards the past few weeks while the NYT article is a longer term view. Both publications place emphasis on NAR’s Profile of International Home Buying Activity whose results emphasized the Chinese investment surge of the previous year. The survey results only reflect the market through last March, so it is 9 months behind the current market. The Chinese investment numbers are staggering, and they are probably understated. Since the NAR report is simply a survey of it’s members and NAR has limited exposure to New York City, especially Manhattan – a hotbed of Chinese real estate investment activity.

NAR2015internationalCHINESEwsj

Incidentally, do the above 2 charts look similar? They both relied on the NAR report.

The NYT piece set the table on the entire multi-year phenomenon using a ton of cool charts while the WSJ attempted to illustrate the change in recent weeks Both outlets were forced to rely on a lot of anecdotal to make their case. Both articles are consistent with my views as each provided a different context.

The NYT piece provided the long term historical view and the WSJ was a short term snapshot.

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Chartist: New York Post, Grant’s Interest Rate Observer

November 19, 2015 | 11:56 am | Charts |

If this market report slash appraisal thing doesn’t work out, I’ll go into graphic design with a focus on charts.

The New York Post asked me to whip up a chart for them. They change the fonts to make it theirs but hey, it’s fun. Oh yeah, the article was about living rent-free in NYC (but there’s a catch). Jim Grant of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer wrote a cover piece in his widely followed twice monthly newsletter subscription called “Too close to the sun” about the super luxury housing peak using my insights and a chart.

Ok, admittedly there is no real point to this post. I’m trying to convince myself to get back in the blogging groove, in addition to my weekly Housing Note.


New York Post version
nypost11-19-15

My original version
NYPdraftmedianrent
[click to expand]


Grant’s IRO version
grantschart11-13-15

My original version
msforgrantchart11-13-15
[click to expand]

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Podcast: My Port Authority of NY & NJ Interview on Regional Housing Market

September 24, 2015 | 12:16 pm | Podcasts |

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A few days ago I was interviewed by Christopher Eshleman at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. He works for Alexander Heil who is the chief economist and publishes a lot of great regional economic insights. Although this is a new effort, this was their first podcast conducted outside of the institution so I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity to share my views.

Christopher is a sharp guy and kept the conversation interesting (I even inserted a Jerry Seinfeld joke). It’s about a half an hour.

Check it out.

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Top 10 Manhattan Apartment Super Talls, 2 are in Hudson Yards

August 23, 2015 | 7:45 pm | crainslogo |

Crain’s 2015 annual analysis of a wide range of NYC data is worth a look. Get to know the biggest city in the U.S.

Top 10 Manhattan Residential Tallest Towers

manhattantop10sCNY

Affordable Housing Units Built

DeBlasio administrations meets it’s annual goal of building 8,000 annual affordable housing units – the highest total ever tracked (began in 2008).

affordableCrains8-2015

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Most NYC building permits since ’63 – Brooklyn nearly equals rest of city

July 30, 2015 | 10:20 am | wsjlogo |

WSJnycpermits7-30
Source: WSJ

Yesterday evening Josh Barbanel at WSJ posted a milestone piece on the current building boom: Construction in New York City Goes Through The Roof: New residential permits surge as developers rush to qualify for tax break

There has been an incredible surge in NYC residential building permits, the most in more than 50 years. It’s amazing to see the Brooklyn permit total nearly reach the total of remainder of the city tallied together.

New York City is entering what could be the biggest building boom in a generation, census figures show, as work gets under way on hundreds of residential projects in neighborhoods across the city. In the first six months of the year, developers received new residential building permits for 42,088 apartments and houses in the city, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, already more than in any full year since 1963, when nearly 50,000 permits were issued.

While permit numbers don’t translate directly to what will actually get built, it is clearly a sign of a significant pipeline in the making.

Reasons?

  • Expiring tax abatement program encouraged developers rush in and start foundation work by June 15
  • Alternative financing around the globe chasing higher returns that low rates can’t deliver
  • Little regulatory oversight because of Dodd-Frank bogging down traditional commercial lenders
  • Significant pent-up demand from 2008-2012 unleashed on the market
  • Improving economy with near record employment growth

UPDATE – I neglected to be more clear and say that this surge will likely collapse in the near future, since the jump in permits is likely to be wildly exaggerated as a result of the first reason above.

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[Video] Ladies and Gentlemen, We Apologize For The Unavoidable Delay…

July 19, 2015 | 11:56 am |

I’ve been interviewed by Charlie Pellet of Bloomberg Radio a few times and have thought to myself, “His voice sounds really familiar.” Here’s this short video from The New Yorker that shows why.

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NYT Mag: Love That ‘Old New York” Neighborhood

May 26, 2015 | 1:38 pm | nytlogo | Favorites |

Saw this is in the most recent edition of New York Times Magazine. Brilliant

nytmaggentricartoon

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Brick Underground: Timeline For Selling A NYC Apartment

February 9, 2015 | 8:44 am | bulogo |

Leigh Kamping-Carder over at Brick Underground put together a pretty cool infographic that covers the sales process of a NYC apartment.

brickclosingtimeline

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NYC Economy is Expanding Rapidly

January 30, 2015 | 11:05 am | fedny |

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According the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the NYC economy is crushing it, growing far faster than the states of New York and New Jersey.

They are using an Index of Coincident Economic Indicators:

A coincident index is a single summary statistic that tracks the current state of the economy. The index is computed from a number of data series that move systematically with overall economic conditions.

VIDEO: Fox Business Risk & Reward w/ Deirdre Bolton 12-11-14

December 26, 2014 | 2:31 pm | foxbusiness | TV, Videos |

Was nice to join Deirdre again to talk housing, specifically why rents are rising and buyers are falling.

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[Three Cents Worth #271 NY] How New York’s Average Sales Price Broke the $1 Million Mark

November 4, 2014 | 4:00 pm | curbed | Columns |

It’s time to share my Three Cents Worth (3CW) on Curbed NY, at the intersection of neighborhood and real estate in the capital of the world…and I’m here to take measurements.

Check out my 3CW column on @CurbedNY:

Although it has been a little more than a month since the third quarter ended, I thought I’d show that the average sales price of the five boroughs in aggregate broke the $1 million threshold for the first time, to a record $1,040,516…

3cw11-4-14
[click to expand chart]


My latest Three Cents Worth column on Curbed: How New York’s Average Sales Price Broke the $1 Million Mark [Curbed]

Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed NY
Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed DC
Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed Miami
Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed Hamptons

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Bloomberg View Column: Rent Control’s Winners and Losers

October 21, 2014 | 3:31 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

BVlogo

Read my latest Bloomberg View column Rent Control’s Winners and Losers. Please join the conversation over at Bloomberg View. Here’s an excerpt…

Any renter in New York City has probably has felt the pain of coming up with the monthly payment. There are plenty of reasons for the city’s steep rents…

..So what would happen if rent control and its cousin, rent stabilization, disappeared overnight?

[read more]


My Bloomberg View Column Directory

My Bloomberg View RSS feed.

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