Matrix Blog

Rentals, Investing

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

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

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[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.

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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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[VIDEO] Boomberg Radio/TV ‘Surveillance’ 9-21-15

September 21, 2015 | 11:45 am | Radio |

I was set to speak in studio with Tom Keene and Pimm Fox but had a commuting snafu and had to call in. It was a great opportunity to show a picture of me as a 15 year old. Love these guys. The best. The Bloomberg Television/Radio are clearly pros and handled the last minute change with ease.

We talked about lots of housing markets and the distortion being created by credit conditions.

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[Three Cents Worth #290 NY] Tracking 24 Years of Manhattan Sales and Rental Prices

August 23, 2015 | 6:09 pm | curbed | Charts |

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:

It’s been a while since I dropped in on Curbed with a Three Cents Worth post but since I’m currently huddled next to an air conditioner, I really needed to take my mind off the heat and humidity. I thought I’d reach back into history and trend the year-over-year changes in the Manhattan sales and rental markets. I presented the median rental price and median sales prices by quarter back to 1991 measuring their year over year percent change. I’m surprised I haven’t done this before since there is so much discussion about the relationship between the two markets, and whether it’s better to rent or buy…

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My latest Three Cents Worth column: Three Cents Worth: Tracking 24 Years of Manhattan Sales and Rental Prices [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
Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed LA
Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed Ski

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Record Queens Condo Prices: Bigger Than Crises in Greece, China

July 9, 2015 | 9:51 pm | delogo |

Rental_0615Douglas Elliman published our research today covering Queens sales, Brooklyn sales Westchester/Putnam sales as well as the rental market for Manhattan Brooklyn & Queens. You can download the reports and more at Douglas Elliman’s market report page.

Like last week’s Manhattan report, there were lots of records set and it wasn’t simply the influence of high end sales – prices were up across the board in most markets.

Incidentally, the Bloomberg News article that covered record Queens condo sales was the second most emailed story world-wide. It stoked more interest than the finance crisis in Greece and the recent Chinese stock market gyrations. Apparently only “investors with satellites” was a more popular read.

Idea (?) for next quarter: Talk about drones and investors in the Queens housing market.

2q15queensrptBLOOMBERGTERMINALS

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Knight Frank: Moscow Rents Dropped 42% YoY in US Dollars

July 6, 2015 | 2:40 pm | kflogo | Reports |

Knight Frank just published their 1Q 2015 Prime Global Rental Index. We provide the U.S. info. Always a fascinating read.

Especially this:

In Moscow, prime rents have historically been US Dollar denominated but the weakness of the Rouble against the US Dollar has led an increasing number of landlords to swap their rents into Roubles. In US Dollar terms prime rents fell 42% on an annual basis but by only 5% in Rouble terms.

Here are the world rankings:

KFPGRI1q15table

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[Three Cents Worth #289 NY] Proof: Summer Is the Hardest Time to Rent in New York City

June 25, 2015 | 11:07 pm | curbed |

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:

This week I thought I’d dig out some of the residual stuff from last week’s rental report to explore the vacancy hyperbole. As far as I know, firms that present the vacancy rate (including mine) use a sampling of buildings from different neighborhoods/regions of Manhattan where building rental status is continually updated. The bottom line—and a reality check—is that the vacancy rate has always been low. It’s remained below 5 percent since at least World War II. (At least that’s what I’ve read; I only started writing for Curbed circa 2004.)…

3cwNY2015-6-17

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My latest Three Cents Worth column: Three Cents Worth: Proof: Summer Is the Hardest Time to Rent in New York City [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

Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed LA

Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed Ski

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Bloomberg View Column: Costly City Housing Is an Economic Drag

June 3, 2015 | 6:12 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column Costly City Housing Is an Economic Drag.

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Here’s an excerpt…

It’s tough living in a big city — the people, the traffic, the noise. Oh, and did we mention the cost of housing? Contrary to conventional wisdom, high and rising housing costs in the U.S.’s biggest cities are not ideal for an economic recovery. Just the opposite: When housing costs take a big bite out of incomes, it diverts money that could be spent on local goods and services or invested in new businesses that stimulate growth…

[read more]


My Bloomberg View Column Directory

My Bloomberg View RSS feed.

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[Three Cents Worth #287 NY] Tracking New York Rents and Asking Prices Over a Century

June 3, 2015 | 6:04 pm | curbed | Charts |

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:

Back in 2011, I embarked on a fun research project for Douglas Elliman’s 100th anniversary, in which I traced how sales prices and rents changed since the 1910s. I explain in detail how I did the research here, but I ended up with a very loose proxy to represent price per square foot for sales and average monthly rents during each decade…

2015-6-1curbed

Here are some other ways to view the 100 year trend based on feedback from readers.

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[click to expand charts]


My latest Three Cents Worth column: Three Cents Worth: Tracking New York Rents and Asking Prices Over a Century [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

Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed LA

Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed Ski

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[Video] Why The Rich Get Richer

May 4, 2015 | 11:05 am | wsjlogo |

Here’s one way to look at it.

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Bloomberg View Column: Invest in a Painting, Not a Condo

May 4, 2015 | 11:00 am | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column Invest in a Painting, Not a Condo.

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Here’s an excerpt…

A couple of weeks ago, Laurence Fink, the chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc., observed that “the two greatest stores of wealth internationally today is contemporary art … and apartments in Manhattan, apartments in Vancouver, in London”…

[read more]


My Bloomberg View Column Directory

My Bloomberg View RSS feed.

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VIDEO: Fox Business Risk & Reward w/ Deirdre Bolton 2-18-15

February 2, 2015 | 8:00 pm | foxbusiness | TV, Videos |

Always a pleasure to join Deirdre Bolton and talk housing.

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VIDEO: Fox Business Risk & Reward w/ Deirdre Bolton 12-31-14

December 31, 2014 | 5:42 pm | foxbusiness | TV, Videos |

Came into the city on the last day of 2014 to join Deirdre Bolton on her Fox Business show Risk & Reward to talk housing rents and 2015 with a dash of $50M+ sales in New York. Always fun.

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