Situs Newswatch 5/5/2017

Frexit: Weekend Vote Decides More Than Who will be French President

Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has accused her pro-European Union centrist rival Emmanuel Macron of being the “candidate of continuity.”

She linked Macron to the unpopular current President, François Hollande, in whose cabinet he once served.

Le Pen trails Macron in the polls by about 20 percentage points ahead of Sunday’s second round of voting.

Macron has said the EU must reform or face the prospect of “Frexit.”

“For European Commercial Real Estate markets this uncertainty will make it harder to gauge long-term trends,” says Situs Europe CEO Christian Bearman. “Europe is an interesting investment case for international investors whose money is worth more here. Economic activity is sluggish, political uncertainty is high, the euro is low — so in many respects there is a decent case to be made for those foreign investors willing to invest long term.”

Le Pen has sought to modernize the once staunchly anti-Semitic FN party in recent years. At a rally in Paris, she called herself the candidate of change, belief and action.

She launched a full-throttled attack on Macron, calling him the candidate of “a morbid continuity, littered with the corpses of jobs transferred offshore, the ruins of bust businesses, and the gaping holes of deficit and debt.”If Macron wins Sunday’s French presidential runoff, Europe’s pro-EU liberals will finally have their champion. For centrists who have been licking their wounds since Britain voted to quit the EU a year ago, the 39-year-old will be the gallant young hero who slew the most dangerous populist dragon of them all, the National Front’s Marine Le Pen.

“This is a reflection of global, rather than local, uncertainty,” says Situs’ Bearman. “CRE markets are lacking a strong trend and theme at present, and the situation in France coupled with that in the U.K. does not help divine a clear way forward for CRE markets in Europe.”

Brexit: Nasty Divorce Ahead for Britain and the European Union

A devastating account of a dinner in Downing Street between Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker has emerged, claiming the European commission president ended discussions about a potential Brexit deal by telling the British prime minister: “I’m leaving Downing Street 10 times more skeptical than I was before.”

Those close to Juncker are said to have subsequently concluded that the chances of Brexit talks failing were now “over 50%”. An EU spokesman declined to comment, except to point out that Juncker had told reporters at a summit on Saturday that the dinner was a “very constructive meeting, a friendly atmosphere”.

The detailed account of the meeting on Wednesday between May and Juncker, who was accompanied by the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, and key staff, suggests the two sides are dangerously divided on key issues such as Britain’s divorce bill and the future rights of EU citizens.

read more: The Guardian 

Greece Reaches Bailout Deal with International Creditors

Greece and its international creditors said on Tuesday that they had reached a preliminary deal allowing the country to receive crucial bailout payments in exchange for promises to raise taxes and to further cut pensions and social spending.

The agreement — the culmination of months of talks — paves the way for the transfer of more than 7 billion euros, or about $7.6 billion, of emergency funds to Athens. It also comes before a series of elections in France, Britain and Germany in the coming days and months, with European officials eager to avoid giving fuel to far-right parties.

Under the terms of the agreement, which is subject to the approval of eurozone finance ministers and the Greek Parliament, Athens will make changes to its labor and energy markets, cut pension payouts, and increase taxes.

“There was white smoke,” Euclid Tsakalotos, the country’s finance minister, told reporters after 12 hours of talks in the Greek capital, alluding to the method the Vatican uses to signal when a new pope has been selected. “The negotiation has finished.”

read more: NY Times

Situs ran a poll at the start of the week, asking whether deregulation would make your company more likely to outsource. Pundits have been split on potential deregulation and our readers were split as well. About 42% of respondents answered they’d be more likely to outsource after financial deregulation measures.

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Jarred Kushner’s Undisclosed Partners Include Goldman Sachs

Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, is currently in business with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and billionaires George Soros and Peter Thiel, according to people familiar with the matter and securities filings.

The previously undisclosed business relationships with titans of the financial and technology worlds are through a real-estate tech startup called Cadre that Mr. Kushner cofounded and currently partly owns.

Goldman and Messrs. Soros and Thiel, as well as other billionaires’ firms, also have stakes in the company, which is based in a Manhattan building owned by the Kushner family’s company, according to people close to Cadre.

The Cadre stake is one of many interests — and ties to large financial institutions — that Mr. Kushner didn’t identify on his government financial-disclosure form, according to a Wall Street Journal review of securities and other filings. Others include loans totaling at least $1 billion, from more than 20 lenders, to properties and companies part-owned by Mr. Kushner, the Journal found. He has also provided personal guarantees on more than $300 million of the debt, according to the analysis.

read more: Wall St Journal

Retail Slump Hits NYC Landlords

Asking rents in many of New York City’s priciest shopping corridors declined in the first quarter of the year, one outcome of the broader national retail headwinds hitting landlords across the U.S.

Average prices for ground-floor space in nine of the 11 major retail districts in Manhattan fell in the first three months of 2017, according to real-estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield. SoHo recorded the largest percentage drop in average asking rent from the previous year, falling 12% to $488 a square foot.

The availability rates along most of those corridors also increased, with the stretch of lower Fifth Avenue between 42nd and 49th streets reporting the highest rate at almost 33%.

read more: Wall St Journal

Markdowns in Manhattan, While Costs Grow in Brooklyn

Manhattan is the borough of discounts. Brooklyn is where buyers might have to overpay for a home. In most Manhattan neighborhoods, buyers got median reductions of at least 2 percent off the initial asking price in the first quarter.

The biggest cuts were in Midtown, where developers are trying to offload high-priced condos ahead of another wave of competition. In Brooklyn, buyers in some northwest and central parts of the borough had to pay more than the asking price. In Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill, the 148 completed deals in the quarter commanded a median premium of 1.8 percent. Buyers in Prospect Heights paid about 2.9 percent more than what sellers sought.

read more: Bloomberg

NYC Multifamily Market Slides 60%

New York City’s multifamily market slumped through the first quarter following last year’s Trump bump.

Total dollar volumes fell 60 percent year-over-year to $1.6 billion during the first quarter as fewer deals materialized late last year amid uncertainty surrounding the presidential election, according to a new quarterly report from Ariel Property Advisors.

That was the lowest sales total for a quarter since the beginning of 2013, and a sharper decline of 51 percent in the city’s overall investment sales market that Cushman & Wakefield reported earlier this month.

“The market in general took a pause as of November,” Ariel Property Advisors’ Shimon Shkury told The Real Deal. “The 10-year yield went up drastically the week after the elections, and that actually put a pause on everything out there. Every contract that was out there and was supposed to be financed got put on hold because the banks quoted them at a more expensive rate.”

read more: The Real Deal

Sacramento’s New Million-Dollar Condos Have Secret Tunnel to Kings’ Arena

The $500 million Golden 1 Center, home to the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, opened in October 2016. Since then, the stadium has served as the centerpiece to Sacramento’s Downtown Commons redevelopment program (DOCO), which also will include a soon-to-be-completed 16 story hotel/ luxury condo development called the Sawyer.

Renderings of the site include a plaza filled with shops and restaurants, a fountain crowned by a translucent sculpture, and a Benetton ad’s worth of laughing twenty-somethings carrying shopping bags. “Sacramento is the next Great American City,” the project’s website reads. “And DOCO is our common ground.”

Yet, should owners of the new condos — which can cost as much as $4 million — find that common ground a little too common, its developer has built an underground tunnel that runs from the building directly into the stadium.

read more: Bloomberg

Stinging Condo Price 
Listen to our favorite song by Sting while reading along

How much is a rock star’s Manhattan condo worth after nine years of ownership? For Sting, the answer is more than double its original price.

The former lead singer for the Police and his wife, actress and producer Trudie Styler, just listed their duplex penthouse at 15 Central Park West for $56 million, more than twice its $27 million purchase price in 2008. The floor plan of the 5,417-square-foot (503-square-meter) apartment was custom-designed for the musician, who bought it while the building was still under construction, according to property listings and public records.

The three-bedroom unit, on the 16th and 17th floors, features 10-foot (3-meter) ceilings, a 396-square-foot “entertaining terrace” and a catering kitchen with two refrigerators, four ovens and three dishwashers, according to the listing by Corcoran Group agent Deborah Kern, who is marketing the apartment with Suzun J. Bennet of Sotheby’s International Realty.

“A semi-private landing leads into the residence, where you are immediately taken in by the breathtaking view,” according to the listing.

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The dual limestone towers at 15 Central Park West, completed by Zeckendorf Development in 2007, set a standard for Manhattan’s ultra-luxury condo market. Some resellers at the property along Central Park have doubled their initial investments, even as the supply of high-end homes in Midtown proliferates. In January, a 3,000-square-foot condo sold for $27.5 million — $2 million less than it was listed for, but more than double its $12.2 purchase price in 2008, according to StreetEasy. That same month, a two-bedroom apartment on the 30th floor that was bought in 2008 for $5.9 million sold for $17.7 million.

read more: Bloomberg

Have a prosperous day and a great weekend!

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