LandlordsNY Briefing for August 9th

The de Blasio administration is evidently mulling over a radical shift in policy that would see the creation of 100-percent market-rate apartments in developments that are created on land deemed underutilized by the New York City Housing Authority. Under the current NYCHA NextGen Neighborhoods program, the city partners with developers to bring a mixture of market-rate and affordable housing to underutilized properties, such as parking lots. The developer gets to make a profit from the market-rate units; the de Blasio administration gets to add affordable units to the city’s housing stock; and NYCHA gets much-needed revenue from the deal. The change would leave the administration with seemingly nothing to crow about.

While critics will attest that this change in policy reveals that the mayor has been in the pockets of developers all along, the more plausible explanation is that NYCHA needs a more lucrative revenue source to pay for the $32 billion in necessary repairs to its numerous properties. The city can't provide that kind of funding, the state cannot either, and officials from the Trump administration have made it clear that they will not shoulder the costs of making these renovations with federal money. Put bluntly, that $32 billion has to come from somewhere, and it seems as though the struggling agency has finally decided to begin selling off its assets to the highest bidder without demanding concessions like affordable units.

Meanwhile, the Daily News has found that the de Blasio administration is already shying away from a 100-percent affordable development on a piece of public land in Hell’s Kitchen. Instead, the administration may approve a plan that would allow as many as 75% of the apartments in the building to be market-rate.

Curbed New York has more.


The rental market continues to be soft throughout the city. Despite being peak rental season, the latest report from Douglas Elliman found that median rental prices in Manhattan were flat from June to July, and that the median net effective rate (which accounts for concessions) fell by 1.3% year-over-year to $3,307. Because of these soft conditions, concessions continue to be high. 35 percent of leases contained concessions in July, a significant increase from last July when the concession rate was 26.5%.

The news was slightly better in Queens. Concession rates are down to 32.3% from last year’s extreme level of 40.8%, while rents improved from July by 1.7%—to $2,951. Brooklyn, unfortunately, saw concession rates skyrocket from 22.1% last July to 41.4% last month. Median rents, however, saw a rise of 3.1% over the same period, from $2,745 to $2,829.

The Real Deal has more.


In a Landlords New York Minute – A (Very) Brief Look Around the World

Zimbabwe is cracking down on leading members of the primary opposition party, Germany wants nuclear weapons, the United States will impose new sanctions on Russia due to the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter on English soil, and foreign investors are seeking safe harbor during an era of geopolitical chaos by putting their money in the dollar. Economists believe that annual growth will hit 3% in 2018, a nonsensical new regulation will give some pass-through entities (but not others) a 20% tax break, the producer-price index remained stable in July only increasing by 0.1% from June, newsprint tariffs are accelerating the decline of local newspapers, tariffs are hurting the furniture industry, mortgage rates decreased slightly last week, the number of people who died because of Hurricane Maria is at least 20 times the official death toll, and several people were hit by lightning in Queens during Tuesday’s storm. Williamsburg is the most dangerous area for pedestrians and cyclists in Brooklyn, rents are falling in Williamsburg because of the upcoming shutdown of the L train, the New York City Council approved the creation of a Union Square Tech Training Center, protests continued well after the council voted in favor of the Inwood rezoning plan, the city will halt new licenses for ride-hail apps like Uber and Lyft, the Department of Transportation wants to influence trash culture by changing the city’s next garbage cans, and Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) has finally been indicted for insider trading.

Global dimming sounds like science fiction, but that’s not true; it’s actually more like one of those low-budget environmental disaster movies that plays on the SyFy channel. Asian wasps have been found in New Jersey and they are killing the invasive stinkbug, beavers are destroying Patagonia, some fungi like to eat garnets, cows like to brush themselves, and the world’s top empathy researcher is evidently kind of a jerk.

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