What trends in general do you see with New York real estate development?
New York real estate attorney Robert Ivanhoe of Greenberg Traurig discusses New York real estate trends.
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Well, it’s actually kind of interesting, this year there have only been three or four major office building sales. So, people talk about how hot the market is in New York, and the prices are so high, which is very true, but I think what’s maybe more interesting, is how few office buildings have actually been sold here in 2014. And what’s happened more often is, owners don’t want to sell and for a variety of reasons, and what they’re often doing is selling a minority interest in the property to an investor, so they might sell a 49 percent interest, keep control of the property, bring somebody else in and go forward from there. At the same time, they might be financing their debt, so they’re really recapitalizing the entire asset, but they’re not selling it. That’s been more of a trend here. The other thing that’s been very obvious in New York real estate in the last couple of years, it’s very driven by the white hot condominium market and how prices and demand have escalated enormously in that. So, most of the activity has really been in the condominium area or driven by condominium prices and land values have gone way up because people want to build condominiums, and they’re paying prices that, for the land, are only supported by extremely high prices, really aspirational prices in condominium sales. The retail market has also been strong in the A-plus locations, 5th Avenue, Madison Avenue, SoHo, Times Square, places like that. But, the market really has been very much driven by condos, and I certainly wonder whether or not there’s sufficient demand for people who will continue to pay over $20 million for apartments, and there will be enough demand to eat up all the supply when all the property’s being built actually come online.