There’s never a dull week (or two) in real estate, and likewise there are even fewer dull players in an industry with egos large enough to fill a skyscraper. So as another week comes to a close, let’s look back on some of the hot takes that stood out.
Josh Flagg wasn’t afraid of taking to social media for self-promotion and throwing some shade at rival TV programs.
“If you’d like to watch a real estate show with licensed agents, make sure to watch last night’s episode of [“Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles”] on Peacock,’ he wrote in an Instagram caption, the Daily Mail reported. ‘If you want to watch actors pretend to be agents, tune into my newest YouTube video…where I review Selling Sunset.’”
Brooklyn Council member Lincoln Restler didn’t hold back when he gave his unvarnished stance on where he stands on a measure he supported that would give nonprofit groups dibs on city-owned land made available to develop affordable housing.
“It’s this simple: When public land is being redeveloped, it should be developed for the public good,” Restler said.
Likewise, analyst Thomas McJoynt of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods didn’t mince any words on how he feels about the market downturn costing Anywhere some of its commission splits and its buy rating from an investment bank.
“If there’s less deals to go around, it’s the best agents winning those deals. Frankly it’s a little tough to think to what extent the housing market would have to come down for you to see some moderation in that split line,”
A topic that transcends market conditions and continues to be a hot button issue that evokes honest, passionate words is diversity.
“Not having a long history of ownership in the U.S., it is very difficult for people of color to build at a large-scale,” D’Wayne Prieto, managing principal of Dobbs Ferry-based Ward Capital Management, said on a study showing fewer than 1 percent of private real estate development firms in the U.S. are Black- or Hispanic-owned.
Sometimes, a salient point can be made with very few words.
“Perfect storm,” is how Steven Schlesinger, partner at Jaspan Schlesinger Narendran and counsel for Paul Sohayegh and Roni Movahedian, described the default on a $41 million loan on 29 West 35th Street.
In Miami, where verbal sparring is a spectator sport in real estate, Jules Trump had some choice words for Suffolk Construction, which sued Trump Group (no relation to the former president) for allegedly trying to poach Suffolk employees to delay the construction of the Estates at Acqualina in Sunny Isles Beach.
“It’s a real conspiracy theory, and it’s a backwards theory,” Trump, who is no relation to Donald J., said. “And it would cost me a fortune. It costs me every month this project is delayed.”
Staying in Miami but shifting to economic conditions, developer Harvey Hernandez explained how rising interest rates caused the sale of Miami development sites to plunge.
“It put some buyers on the sidelines. It just got to the point where a lot of headwinds affected sales, and the price per acre dropped in the second half.”
And then there are earnings calls, which require a bit of parsing to cut through the PR polish and spin.
“We expect these cost savings to more than offset any inflation in our semi-variable and fixed cost base. However, they will not completely offset the temporary margin contraction from the anticipated brokerage revenue decline, as we believe it’s important to maintain a strong position to grow share in the recovery,” Cushman & Wakefield’s CFO Neil Johnston said on the firm hoping to save $90 million this year through temporary and permanent cuts.