LandlordsNY Briefing for November 1st

The 2019 Dodge Construction Outlook predicts that 2019 construction starts will remain more or less even with 2018's numbers. The 2019 estimate is $808 billion. The 2018 estimate was $807 billion.

There are myriad reasons for the plateau. On the one hand, material costs are on the rise due to tariffs, growing interest rates have made loans more expensive, and there is some degree of economic uncertainty due to international tensions and the belief that the market has topped out. On the other hand, the labor market is strong and wages have increased, lending standards have been made less rigorous by looser regulations, and the federal government has shown a greater interest in the funding of public works projects like schools and infrastructure.

The news is less rosy for the multifamily market. The Outlook predicts that it will slide 8 percent in units, to 465,000, and decrease 6 percent in value. Similarly, commercial construction is expected to see a 3 percent decline.

Urban Land Magazine has more.

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Realizing that it is very likely that the Democrats will soon control both legislative houses in Albany, some real estate organizations are beginning to contribute to Democratic candidates in the state Senate—not just Republicans. Three political-action committees that represent the interests of landlords and developers have given more than twice as much to Democrats in this cycle than they did in 2016. The Real Estate Board of New York’s PAC has given more than four times as much (though it continues to contribute more to Republicans). Two PACs associated with the Rent Stabilization Association, however, continued to overwhelmingly show their support for Republicans, even though many are considering large Democratic gains next week to be a certainty.

The groups contributing to the Democrats are hoping to dissuade them from eliminating vacancy decontrol (I think they meant luxury decontrol), which is evidently a top priority for Democrats right now instead of creating genuinely affordable housing.

The Wall Street Journal has more.

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

The United Kingdom’s major crimes squad is investigating one of the most prominent proponents of Brexit for allegedly funneling illegal money through his personal account to support the Leave campaign, birth tourism is a lucrative industry for extremely wealthy Russians (provided they can make it), the 21-story CitizenM Bowery hotel is now the tallest modular hotel in the United States, and the 2018 International Highrise Award has gone to Mexico City’s Torre Reforma. President Donald Trump may order between 10 and 15,000 military personnel to do something at the border (it’s unclear what) in anticipation of the migrant caravan that is still weeks away from arriving in the U.S., the number of homeless veterans in the U.S. declined 5.3 percent from last year (to 38,000), productivity rose 2.2 percent in the third quarter and unit labor costs rose 1.2 percent, Google employees around the world are staging a walkout due to the company’s inept handling of instances of sexual misconduct, no corporations have adopted a subway station yet, Central Park’s Delacorte Theater will receive a $110 million upgrade, New York is facing a severe teacher shortage that will require 180,000 hires in the next five years, and Public Advocate and attorney general candidate Letitia James doesn’t know what a garbage plate is.

We’ve evidently hit peak pumpkin spice latte flavoring (or PSL as someone actually called it), there’s a very rare duck in Central Park and people are very excited, the U.S. Air Force uses propane cannons to scare birds away from runways, the genes that allow deer to regrow their antlers may one day help humans combat bone disease like osteoporosis, the appendix may be instrumental in the development of Parkinson’s disease, Bitcoin turned 10 yesterday, NASA has retired the Kepler space telescope, and getting more sleep will significantly improve your life.

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