Mortgage Observer

Mortgage Data Points to Frothy Market, Heightening Fears of a Bubble

Timing is everything, in surfing and real estate.

Some say that cycles in real estate are inevitable, that the idea shouldn’t be to prevent them, but rather to enter the wave early enough to surf, so to speak. But whatever your thoughts on the market’s boom and bust, recent changes in the commercial mortgage market might give you pause. It may be time to stand up—or bail out.

Many statistics point to a drastic rise in land values in New York City, pushed at least partly by a flood of equity. That, in combination with more leverage and more building trades, indicates what brokers like to call “frothiness.”  Read More

The Sit-Down

ABS Partners’ Ashkán Zandieh on the Sociology of Tech and NYC’s Race Against San Francisco

Ashkán Zandieh

“The ability to socialize and collaborate is one of the founding blocks of creating a tech community,” writes Ashkán Zandieh, director of the creative and start-up advisory division at ABS Partners Real Estate, in the latest edition of his quarter TechStarter report. Mr. Zandieh has been involved with the technology sector for seven years. He created and sold a start-up, has advised several fledgling companies and tracked the field’s real estate activity for the past year. From ABS Partner’s Union Square area office, Mr. Zandieh is well-positioned to observe and dissect the red hot Midtown South tech real estate market and, if he looks south, the growth of the Financial District as a tech and new media contender.

Mr Zandieh spoke by phone with The Commercial Observer.

The Commercial Observer: How is the tech-fueled Midtown South commercial real estate market holding up?

Mr. Zandieh: The average asking rental price per square foot increased from an estimated $38 per-square-foot in 2011 and 2012 to nearly $60 per square foot for Class B buildings in Midtown South in the first quarter of 2013. What’s pretty interesting is that we’re seeing a Class B transition–there’s a fuzzy line between Class B and Class C.

So young companies are still drawn to, and able to afford, the neighborhood?

A lot of the start-ups I’m working with now are down in Soho and expanding by 20 or 30 employees. They’re moving out of Soho and to NoMad, where they can get larger floor plates. By NoMad, I mean 23rd Street to 28th Street between Park and Seventh Avenues. Read More