Manhattan Market Report
It’s easy to see why life companies continue to plow money into commercial and multifamily real estate mortgages: They have provided strong returns, inflicted virtually no losses and match up perfectly with their long-term liabilities.
“Mortgages have proven to be really good, solid investments for life companies,” said Robert Merck, head of real estate investors for MetLife, the top life insurer in this space and the subject of a longer profile in this month’s Mortgage Observer.
An unprecedented sevenfold increase in retail property sales fueled the Manhattan commercial real estate sales market’s epic comeback in the fourth quarter – its strongest performance since 2007, according to preliminary data from Eastern Consolidated.
The hallmark quarter, with nearly $13 billion in sales volume – the strongest since record-breaking performances in 2007 (peaking at $19 billion in Q2 of 2007) – was triggered by fears of impending capital gains taxes, which had owners scrambling to unload properties before year’s end.
“This was definitely fiscal-driven growth,” said Barbara Byrne Denham, Eastern Consolidated’s chief economist. “Sellers wanted to cash out and buyers knew it, so they were eager to come to the table as well.”
Based on investment sales over the first nine months of the year, it looks like the No. 1 preferred asset is rental properties—especially in the metropolitan area. With record low vacancy rates—coupled with near-record high rents—local, national and international investors are seeking to own this asset class.
SL Green Realty Corp. said Wednesday that it had, along with partner Jeff Sutton, restructured and recapped the retail condo at 717 Fifth Avenue, home of Dolce & Gabbana, Armani and Escada.
In one of the largest transactions of the past year, New York Life has signed a long-term renewal for its 415,000-square-foot offices at 63 Madison Avenue.
It may just be a plain vanilla renewal, but in a tepid market, this was the second largest lease of 2009, on the heels of Paul Weiss’s 550,000-square-foot renewal Read More