This quarter’s commercial property statistics were flat for the quarter. Total sales volume of $6.1 billion was near the same as in the first quarter of 2012 which was significantly lower than the prior two quarters. Peter Hauspurg, quoted in the Wall Street Journal last Monday, says that buyers are eager to invest but owners do not want to relinquish their properties. In short, everyone wants to own property in New York City. Why not, the City has set itself apart from the rest of the U.S. as well as other cosmopolitan cities around the world in ways that many of us know, and finally, the media is catching on about.
Two journalists recently covered New York’s success: Greg David in his column titled Bloomberg’s NYC jobs Miracle; Exaggeration? Maybe Not. We may be biased about this column because he nicely cites Eastern Consolidated’s employment statistics, but few in the media have addressed how the City’s employment growth is the strongest in more than 40 years and is visibly outperforming the U.S. He mentions how New York has barely shown any effect from the European crisis, and he credits Bloomberg for the City’s success. How has this been possible given that New York was considered the headquarters for the recent banking crisis?
In another column in last Sunday’s New York Times titled Our Newly Lush Life,
Frank Bruni discusses how green the City has grown over the last decade – literally, with trees and such. More specifically, he cites the success of the High Line, the Brooklyn Bridge Park, Riverside South and other efforts to invest in parks that have improved the City’s quality of life over the years. “While so much of American life right now is attended by the specter of decline, many cities are blossoming, with New York providing crucial inspiration.” Bruni too credits Bloomberg by saying Bloomberg embraced “the belief that a City could and should be beautiful and well designed.”
Anyone who has lived here for more than 10 years would agree with these two columns and would recognize how far New York City has come. More and more tourists come here to enjoy everything that New York has to offer and many can stay in the more than 13,000 new hotel rooms built over the last five years. These tourists visit the Highline, our parks and many museums. They also shop along our avenues buying everything from Apple iPads to Juicy Couture jeans. Indeed, our retail industry has added more jobs than any other industry since 2009. The industry with the second highest growth? Restaurants.
Many often cite the higher rents and business costs to New York City as restraining the office sector from growing faster, but rents have remained low over the last few years and employers are hesitant to cut jobs or shift operations outside the City when they know the City’s labor pool is stronger than the suburbs and other cities. So many young people want to study or work in New York City because they too can enjoy the City’s culture and nightlife, of course.
In short, it is a good time to be a New Yorker. The outlook today looks as favorable as it ever has, which is why property owners want to hold on to their prized assets and why demand from buyers is so high. Prices reflect this strong demand, but until they get much higher, owners are not likely to budge.