Housing Starts: What’s Next in New York? | 92,000 Affordable Housing Applicants | Rents May Rise

January 6th 2015

Three luxury buildings in Manhattan (Photo Credit: 12E13St.com / KPF / Thomas Juul-Hansen Naftali)

  1. What’s Up Next in New York? “Our population and employment is at an all-time high and growing. That puts significant pressure on rents and prices,” said Mark Willis, the executive director of the New York University Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. “There is no reason now to think that these trends are likely to change.” It is not all bad news for buyers: Prices will still head north next year, but the pace will likely slow from a sprint to a saunter. [New York Times – 12/26/14]
  2. How Michael Bloomberg Greenwashed New York City As the factories disappear so too do some of the last remaining middle-class jobs, contributing to the city’s increasing income polarization. According to a report by New York University’s Furman Center, which researches urban affairs, between 1990 and 2012, as the number of middle-income earners in New York shrank, workers at the high and low ends have expanded. This, of course, is a national trend but it is more pronounced in New York City where total income has become even more concentrated among the biggest earners. In 2012, the top 5 percent of city residents received 28 percent of its income—nationally it’s 22 percent—while the city’s big middle received just 13 percent. Amid all this, median wages have fallen for all but the most highly skilled jobs in the city. [Tablet Magazine – 01/05/15]
  3. More Than 92,000 Applications Pile in for Queens Affordable Housing Development They don’t call it a lottery for nothing. More than 92,000 people applied for 924 affordable housing units opening up in two new Hunter’s Point South development buildings on the Long Island City waterfront – nearly double the expected number in an impressive show of demand for below-market rate units. Roughly one out of every hundred applicants in the automated lottery will be selected by mid-February to rent apartments for as low as $490 a month for studios and as high as $2, 680 for two-bedroom, depending on the tenant income. [New York Daily News – 12/31/14]
  4. If Lawmakers Don’t Act, Rents Could Rise in NYC “The city is changing enough as it is, and these laws are so important to so many people,” said Chaffee, who won’t specify how much she pays now. “If you want to have neighborhoods, if you want to have families and artists and elderly living in New York City, we need these laws. Can you imagine what New York City would be like without them?” The laws governing the rent paid by Chaffee and more than 2 million other New York City residents are due to expire June 15, and state lawmakers are preparing for what could be a bruising debate over whether to renew, strengthen or weaken them. [ABC News – 01/04/15]
  5. Year of the Condo in New York City At least twice as many new condominium units are scheduled to hit the Manhattan market this year as in 2014, the most since 2007. That means more choice for buyers and some welcome competition among developers. The influx comes after a five-year shortage, when new condo buildings practically had the market to themselves, allowing developers to push prices ever higher. The oncoming wave of new development in 2015, some real estate watchers predict, will temper that price growth and slow the pace of sales, providing some relief to Manhattan buyers. [New York Times – 01/02/15]
  6. As Rents Soar, 2015 May Be the Year to Buy a Home As rents soar and the supply of rental housing remains constrained, 2015 could be the tipping point, pushing more renters to home ownership. While younger Americans may prefer the flexibility of renting, home ownership is becoming more enticing, financially. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently announced new low-down payment loans, mortgage rates are still very attractive, and renting is just plain more expensive than owning in many metropolitan markets. [NBC News – 12/31/14]
  7. Construction Firms Build on Big Year Spurred by the building of luxury condominiums, construction spending in the city topped an estimated $32 billion in 2014 and is likely to continue to grow in the years ahead as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable-housing program gets off the ground. Residential construction last year increased by 60%, according to a recent report from the New York City Building Congress, to $11 billion, or about a third of the total, according to the report. That figure was more than the construction spending for offices, hotels and other facilities. [Crain’s New York Business – 01/04/15]
  8. A Decline in Problem Mortgages While the lingering effects of the housing-market collapse continued to recede last year, millions of homeowners will still struggle in 2015 and beyond. Nationally, foreclosures and serious delinquencies have dropped significantly from a year ago. And the share of underwater homeowners (who owe more than their homes are worth) is down almost by half since the 2012 peak. But even as the national outlook is looking closer to normal, many major markets have a much longer way to go. [New York Times – 01/02/15]
  9. High-end Condos Hitting Headwinds After three super-heated years, the market for the city’s priciest new condominiums appears to be cooling off a bit. In recent weeks, signs of the chill have even popped up at One57, the bellwether of the nosebleed niche. At that 75-story spire overlooking Central Park at 157 W. 57th St., just one unit changed hands in the third quarter of 2014—only the third apartment at the tower to sell last year. One57 joins an expanding list of properties where buyers are flinching at prices that, like some of the towers themselves, have reached unprecedented heights. [Crain’s New York Business – 01/04/15]
  10. Housing Market Enters 2015 Facing Affordability Pressures The U.S. housing market failed to provide the lift to the economy over the past year that many analysts expected. It enters a new year with few signs pointing to either a renewed breakout or a sharp slowdown. New data released this week showed that contracts signed to buy previously owned homes rose to the third-highest level of the past year, the latest sign of how housing demand firmed up in 2014 after a sluggish start. [Wall Street Journal – 01/01/15]
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