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Weekly Market Report - November 12, 2020


Real-Estate Stocks Soar on Hope Vaccine Will Ease Covid Concerns

Real-estate stocks surged Monday after news of successful Covid-19 vaccine test results helped claw back some of the huge declines the sector has suffered during the pandemic. The share prices of some of the country’s biggest property owners were up more than 20% around midday Monday, compared to a roughly 3% increase in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Office owners face high vacancy rates and have struggled to convince tenants to bring back their employees, while apartment owners in cities like New York and San Francisco have been forced to offer massive discounts to renters. Monday’s news that a vaccine developed by BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc. is more effective than expected raised hopes that people will flock back to malls, hotels and office towers.


Flushing … another project down the toilet?

Not long ago, a proposed Special Flushing Waterfront District was supposed to win approval without too much trouble because the local Council member, Peter Koo, supports the big development that it would allow. How big? Nine buildings, 1,756 apartments, 29 acres — big enough that it would take three developers until 2025 to finish. To Koo, it’s a no-brainer. As he said at a Council committee meeting Monday, the project would “transform an isolated and polluted brownfield into an active waterfront community with open space and promenade for the public,” not to mention create desperately needed jobs for the city’s recovery from Covid. At the Monday meeting, though, the developers’ lawyer, Ross Moskowitz, was greeted by members hostile to the plan. Francisco Moya and Antonio Reynoso said it did not have enough affordable housing — just 61 units — given that 70,000 New Yorkers are homeless. The next day, a third member, Brad Lander, opposed it in part for the same reason.


Retail rent collections hit 89% in October

After a few rocky months, rent collections at national chains are leveling out. Major chains paid 89 percent of October rent, the highest amount since the start of the pandemic, and a slight increase from 87 percent collected in September, according to a report by Datex Property Solutions. October’s figure was just 7 percentage points below the same time last year. The increase in payments is a continuation of the progress that landlords have been seeing over the past few months. While declines in rent payments were expected after various forms of rent relief expired for retailers, no such trends have occurred yet.


East Williamsburg warehouse fetches $28M

The industrial market is one of the few sectors to see activity jump in recent months. In the third quarter, industrial tenants signed on for 1.6 million square feet of space across New York City, a 71 percent year-over-year jump. So, for those who own warehouse and logistics facilities in the five boroughs, now may seem like a good time to transact. Last week, a warehouse in East Williamsburg sold for $28 million — one of two mid-market investment sales that closed in New York City last week.

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