The Monthly Insider | February 2016

The Hustis/Jovanovic Team

Our Industry: Whats the Latest?

There has been plenty of discussion about the amount of construction going on in New York City and the excess condo supply that it will create. In Brooklyn, developers have been working around the clock putting up new buildings from the Downtown area, to the Atlantic Yards, to the Williamsburg Waterfront. Manhattan is filled with seemingly endless construction from the World Trade Center site, to Hudson Yards, up to Billionaire’s Row on 57th. One can hardly pass a block without noticing construction shreds and scaffolding. Whether you appreciate the game changing architecture or are annoyed by the constant noise, one thing for sure, is that the skyline will look radically different in the next few years.

Details, please…

The press seems to only want to talk about the oversupply of luxury condo development that keeps growing every quarter, but there is a lot of nuance to this reality. Firstly, many of the buildings going up are actually hotel, rental, or office buildings; One Vanderbilt is an office, the World Trade Center Site is all office, and only a small percentage of the Hudson Yards is Condo. Secondly, the amount of condos entering the pipeline this past month has actually decreased by more than 60% since the peak in October of 2014. Lastly, it was announced earlier this month that Steve Witkoff has shelved plans for his super tower condo at the site of the current Park Lane Hotel on Central Park South; he will instead create a luxury hotel. As the market cools due to less demand at the high end, this trend of repositioning a development, is sure to continue as banks reevaluate their underwriting of construction loans.

While We’re Speaking of Luxury Condos…

One of the most ambitious buildings that will forever change the skyline is 111 West 57th. Built on a 50 foot wide lot while incorporating the landmarked former Steinway Piano building at 109 West 57th, it will be one of the most slender skyscrapers ever constructed. Though is is not yet open to the public, we were able to get a sneak peak a few weeks back of the almost completed sales center. The building will rise 1,427 feet, but will only comprise 44 units, with prices starting at $16 Million. The level of craftsmanship and the thoughtfulness put into the design and finishes is beyond comparison to anything that we have seen yet, including 220 Central Park South. It harkens back to the gilded age, when New York went through its first wave of skyscraper construction. When completed in 2020 and ready for move in, the building will certainly add another fascinating story and dimension to our skyline.

New York City Skyline of 2030

Our Industry: The Scoop.

Two weeks ago we attended a breakfast where Larry Summers, noted economist and former Secretary of the Treasury of the United States spoke. As one would expect, Summers did not mince words as he shared his view on the election, the world’s economy, and solutions to fixing America’s inequality gap.

Without notes, Summers gave an hour long and effortless diatribe, which kept the entire room fully focused with his razor wit, intelligence, and brutal frankness. At one point when describing how Europe’s leaders were addressing their host of social and economic problems, he referred to Angela Merkel as “the resident adult in the room” while explaining Mario Draghi as a man more concerned with “rhetoric vs. action.” Summers did not stop there, citing the deliberate lack of transparency in Chinese financial reporting, stating that it is far worse than any type of accounting concocted by Jack Welch.

Summers cited systemic problems across the globe, calling the OPEC Member behavior “the end of the cartel” and a race to the bottom in light of the recent oil price decreases. He referred to Brazil as “terrible” and he concluded with his prediction of the flight of international money to the countries with the safest currencies and most stable political systems (aka the U.S.). While everyone may not agree with his delivery, which lacks political correctness, it is hard to dispute that while imperfect, the U.S. economy when graded on a global curve, is most likely on stronger ground than anywhere else in the world.

Our Industry: Historic Sale.

110 Million Dollar East Hampton Sale

5th largest residential sale in US history

2nd largest transaction in New York State history

With this historic sale, one of our own, Ed Petrie, has demonstrated the power of our resources and the unprecedented potential of Compass. Having played an instrumental role in the recruitment of the top founding brokers and the establishment of Compass in the Hamptons, our team celebrates Ed’s accomplishment and invites you to read more about this historic moment in the Real Deal, Business Insider, and Curbed Hamptons.

Our News: Here is what we’ve been working on…

Compass Markets App

One of the innovative new tools that we have worked with the Engineering and Product Teams to create is the Compass Markets App. This App is the first of its kind, and produces a “Real-Time” market report that provides the user with data on what is happening in the market.

How it works…

It is an easy to navigate app segmented by neighborhood. From there you can search for specific information on active listings, signed contracts, and closed sales for the current quarter, along with quarterly historical data that stretches back over 5 years. You can dig deeper to get more granular information, such as how 1 beds are performing versus 2 beds, 3 beds, townhouses, etc. Additionally, you have the ability to see how many signed contracts there are this quarter in the chosen neighborhood and how prices have adjusted from the same time last year, up to 5 years ago.

Why is this important?

When buying or selling, the power of data and information is vital to make an knowledgeable decision. As your brokers, we are here to delve even further into the data-set in order to provide value and reasoning on how to best navigate the numbers, the market, and to achieve the best possible results!

Download the Compass Markets App Here.

Our News: Learn More About the Compass Team

Glenn Rogers, Senior Product Manager | Yaron Schoen, Product Design Lead

Glenn and Yaron are one of our favorite teams here at Compass. With experience in advertising at venerable firms like Ogilvy and Razorfish, both have led teams on major accounts like Motorola, AXE, and Porsche. The two worked at Twitter back in the early stages and had a significant influence in creating the design of the Twitter user interface. From there they started their own firm, We Are Human, where they created the online and digital look of companies like Uniqlo, and many others. Realizing that we needed to improve our design, Compass executives pursued and eventually purchased their company. Between the two of them, they have 30+ years of digital agency, product design, and user interface development experience. They are two of the most energetic, intelligent, gracious, and collaborative people we know. Here at Compass they lead teams that ensure our digital presence has the correct architecture and look that matches our brand and where we are headed! No other real estate company has people of this caliber and we are so grateful to call them colleagues and friends!

LifeStyle: In the know…

The L Train carries over 225,000 commuters daily. Recently, the MTA announced that in the next few years it will need to shut down the Canarsie Tunnel under the East River that the L travels in, in order to perform work on the damaged tunnels infrastructure.

The Big Questions:

  • What will this do to property values in Williamsburg?
  • What quality of life issues will this create for residents who rely on this train to get to Manhattan for work?

As plans are unveiled in the coming months we will tackle these questions, and report on how this will affect business owners, residents, commuters, and developers.

Read More

LifeStyle: A Nod to the Past

New York Speakeasies

Raines Law Room — 48 West 17th Street and 24 East 39th Street

Pouring Ribbons — 225 Avenue B, 2nd Floor

The Back Room — 102 Norfolk Street

Bathtub Gin — 132 9th Avenue

NiteCap — 120 Rivington Street

The Garret — 296 Bleecker Street and 206 Avenue A

Little Branch — 20 Seventh Avenue