Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-64013 Sun, 10 Jun 2018 17:38:56 GMT Kanye West to be "one of the biggest real estate developers of all time" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-06-10_KanyeWesttobeoneofthebiggestrealestatedevelopersofalltime.html The rapper turned designer, entrepreneur and now developer revealed his newly-formed architecture studio's first project, a prefabricated affordable housing scheme, via one of his collaborator's Instagram account this week, according to the Architect's Newspaper.

The public release of the renderings come weeks after West filmed an interview where he spoke about his plans to build a real estate empire. In a lengthy taped conversation between him and radio and television personality Charlamagne Tha God, West said, "I'm going to be one of the biggest real estate developers of all time. Like what Howard Hughes was to aircrafts and what Henry Ford was to cars."

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But it was only last month, via Twitter, that he announced his new venture to bring architectural design in-house: "We're starting a Yeezy architecture arm called Yeezy home," he tweeted. "We're looking for architects and industrial designers who want to make the world better.

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iehi-feed-64008 Sat, 09 Jun 2018 14:29:29 GMT The priciest rentals are also the loneliest http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-06-09_Thepriciestrentalsarealsotheloneliest.html The vacancy rate for the country's most expensive apartments is more than double the rate for lower-priced pads, as builders have flooded the high-end of the market while supply remains tight for more modest product.

The most expensive 10% of U.S. rentals had a vacancy rate of more than 13 percent during the first quarter of the year, according to a CoStar Group study cited by Bloomberg News.

For the rest, the rate was around 6 percent. CoStar's study excluded subsidized rentals and focused on the 54 largest metropolitan areas in the country.

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There are now 537,000 apartments und construction -- the most going back at least to 2000, according to the study. But those units are disproportionately located in expensive submarkets.

"Capital around the world is enamored with U.S. multifamily, and a lot of that is manifesting itself in high-amenity, high-asking-rent" apartments, said CoStar's Michael Cohen. "The market is missing some other opportunities."

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iehi-feed-63997 Thu, 07 Jun 2018 14:04:22 GMT How WeWork became the most hyped startup in the world http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-06-07_HowWeWorkbecamethemosthypedstartupintheworld.html When Softbank first expressed interest in discussing business, Neumann insisted that Son should visit WeWork's headquarters in person. "It wasn't because we were trying to be cheeky," he says. "It was because part of what we do is energy -- and I can't put energy on a piece of paper."

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Not everyone is convinced, however. Some of its critics say that WeWork should be treated like a traditional property company, not a Silicon Valley unicorn. WeWork doesn't actually own most of it spaces, but takes out long leases on buildings, which it then offers out in smaller chunks and on shorter terms. This can be a risky model: serviced office provider Regus (now IWG) thrived in the dotcom boom only to suffer when the bubble burst, filing for bankruptcy protection for its US business in 2003.

"The problem was catastrophically falling rents," IWG CEO Mark Dixon, who founded the company in 1989, tells me later. There was no real fall in demand, he says, but a disjoint in cost base. "If you sign leases that are too long and you're fixed at double the market on your liability side on leases, you basically lose all your margin." Today, IWG remains one of WeWork's main competitors, and, with over 3,000 locations to WeWork's 200, it is much bigger. IWG has been publicly traded since 2000; at the time of writing, it has a market cap of £2.2 billion. Dixon insists that he is not worried about WeWork. "There's no magic ingredient that they have that everyone else doesn't have," he says. IWG launched its first space under co-working brand Spaces, which is closer in style to WeWork than its more formal Regus offices, in 2015. I ask what he makes of WeWork's $20 billion valuation. "Well, it's a great story," he says.

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iehi-feed-63983 Wed, 30 May 2018 22:06:05 GMT Run-up in home prices is not sustainable http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-05-30_Runupinhomepricesisnotsustainable.html Home values have been rising for six straight years, and the gains have been accelerating for the past two years. Unlike the last housing boom, the gains are not driven by fast and easy mortgage money, but instead by solid buyer demand and very low supply. Still, like the last housing boom, some are starting to warn these price gains cannot continue.

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Meanwhile the home price gains are widest on the low end of the market, where supply is leanest. That is why home sales have been dropping most on the low end. Evidence is now mounting that a growing number of first-time buyers are giving up and dropping out of the market altogether. Sales to first-time buyers dropped 2 percent in the first quarter of this year compared with the first quarter of 2017, according to Genworth Mortgage Insurance.

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iehi-feed-63970 Fri, 25 May 2018 21:13:50 GMT Renters Become Majority in More than 20 Major US cities http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-05-25_RentersBecomeMajorityinMorethan20MajorUScities.html iehi-feed-63952 Thu, 17 May 2018 19:41:47 GMT New York eclipses London in ultra-luxury residential sales http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-05-17_NewYorkeclipsesLondoninultraluxuryresidentialsales.html New York City has jumped to second place among the world's most luxurious cities based on residential sales volume. The city surpassed London in a move from third to second place, just behind Hong Kong in the top spot, according to a new report from Christie's International Real Estate...

New York also took second place in trophy sales behind Hong Kong, with seven sales above $50 million, and seven of 24 penthouse sales. The top 10 trophy sales worldwide totaled $1.24 billion, down slightly from $1.32 billion in 2016. New York City's contribution to the list was the the $91 million purchase of the penthouse at 432 Park Avenue which was fifth most expensive sale globally. The No. 1 sale was a property in Hong Kong, called the Peak, which sold for a stratospheric $360 million.

In 2017, the wealth of the world's billionaires grew to $9.1 trillion, according to Forbes, with more than 2,200 billionaires worldwide. If you include those with $500 million or more, that number increases to $11.7 trillion, said Conn. This means there is an incredible amount of capital to be deployed, he added.

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One feature of the market in 2017, and continuing into 2018, is the degree to which it is a buyer's market, said Dan Conn, CEO of Christie's, particularly uber-luxury buyers. "They don't have to go the dance," he said. It's up to sellers to woo them.

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iehi-feed-63946 Tue, 15 May 2018 14:25:46 GMT Trump Indonesia project is latest stop on China's Belt and Road http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-05-15_TrumpIndonesiaprojectislateststoponChinasBeltandRoad.html A subsidiary of Chinese state-owned construction firm Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) signed a deal with Indonesia's MNC Land to build a theme park outside Jakarta as part of the ambitious project, the company said on Thursday... The project includes Trump-branded hotels, residences and a golf course, as well as other hotel, shopping and residential developments.

... marketing materials for MNC Lido City refer to the theme park and Trump properties as flagship elements of the development, and corporate filings and internal documents show the Trump Organisation and the president's sons have been directly involved in various stages of its planning.

Negotiations on the Lido deal began before Trump's November 2016 election and subsequent pledge that his family business would not engage in new transactions with foreign governments during his presidency.

Still, "even if this deal is completely and entirely above board, it simply furthers the perception of impropriety" surrounding Trump's business dealings, said Christopher Balding, an economics professor at Shenzhen's HSBC Business School. "Especially with the potential trade war, this is not a good look ... Critics will be entirely right to demand answers."

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iehi-feed-63909 Tue, 01 May 2018 13:23:35 GMT NYC's 90-Story One57 Perks Up Sales With Luxury-Condo Discounts http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-05-01_NYCs90StoryOne57PerksUpSalesWithLuxuryCondoDiscounts.html Four years after completing the 90-story tower -- and setting a New York City record with a $100.5 million condo deal -- Extell Development Co. is still working to sell it out. In the first three months of the year, the firm sold five apartments totaling $73 million, according to a filing on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, where Extell sells debt. It was the firm's best quarter at One57, by both unit sales and value, since the end of 2016, according to an analysis of filings and data from StreetEasy.

"They were all discounted," Extell President Gary Barnett said in an interview. "That definitely has something to do with convincing people that it's time to buy and that they're getting a good value."

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At One57, Extell gave discounts in the quarter ranging from "single digit" percentages to bigger deals higher up in the tower, where the units are pricier, Barnett said. In some cases the developer covered the closing costs. Barnett said the two biggest sales were for about $24 million each. Not all the deals and their exact prices have been filed publicly yet with the city.

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iehi-feed-63905 Sat, 28 Apr 2018 00:28:02 GMT What Will these Mortgage Rates Do to Housing Bubble 2? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-27_WhatWilltheseMortgageRatesDotoHousingBubble2.html If the average mortgage rate rises to 5.2% -- perhaps in the second half of this year -- it will be the highest since 2010. And 5.5% would take mortgage rates back to levels not seen since 2008... But there is a difference between those higher mortgage rates now and the same rates back then: Home prices!

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The pain threshold for the US housing market is at 6% (average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, as measured by the MBA, conforming, with 20% down)... There may well be a cold-shower effect at around 5% that will sober up some home buyers. But pain will set in at around 6%. People have forgotten what a 6% mortgage feels like though that's still a historically low rate. And they've never had to finance homes at these sky-high prices at 6%. That'll be the new thing. And something will have to give.

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iehi-feed-63900 Thu, 26 Apr 2018 00:25:50 GMT WeWork documents reveal it owes $18 billion in rent and is burning through cash as it seeks more funding http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-25_WeWorkdocumentsrevealitowes18billioninrentandisburningthroughcas.html WeWork owes $18 billion in rent. The company has more than 14 million square feet of office space, with suitably massive lease obligations, though WeWork has the option of closing locations if it can't pay those bills. WeWork is burning cash. Revenue from memberships more than doubled last year, to $822 million, but expenses also more than doubled, to $1.81 billion. Net losses came to $934 million, according to Bloomberg.

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The office-leasing startup WeWork plans to raise more funding through a $500 million bond sale, according to the Financial Times. It's the first time the company is raising money from debt investors after it raised billions in venture capital from backers such as SoftBank.

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iehi-feed-63899 Thu, 26 Apr 2018 00:18:45 GMT U.S. Home-Buying Market Taking Sharply-Higher Costs In Stride -- So Far http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-25_USHomeBuyingMarketTakingSharplyHigherCostsInStrideSoFar.html The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index showed property values in 20 major U.S. cities climbed 6.8 percent in February, the biggest year-over-year gain since June 2014. Government data revealed a faster-than-projected rate of new-home sales in March and huge upward revisions to the prior two months... Now, with the costs of lumber and other building materials soaring together [on top of higher mortgage costs], buyers are unlikely to see any relief for some time.

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The framing of homes, or putting up roofs and walls, accounts for 15 percent of the cost of construction. A composite measure of the cost of lumber for framing rose 16 percent from December to March ... and it's not just lumber. A Labor Department gauge of prices paid at the producer level for construction inputs -- everything from particleboard and plumbing to concrete and insulation -- was up 5.1 percent in March from a year earlier, the biggest annual advance in nearly eight years.

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So far, neither higher home prices or a four-year high in mortgage costs have been enough to dissuade buyers. Results of the Conference Board's consumer confidence index on Tuesday showed 1.7 percent of the group's respondents in April planned to purchase a new home in the next six months, matching the highest share in this expansion.

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At some point, affordability will become a bigger issue for those wanting to own a home. So far though, consumers are taking higher home prices in stride and builders remain relatively upbeat about the market's prospects.

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iehi-feed-63891 Tue, 24 Apr 2018 00:44:24 GMT Tax Changes Mean Mortgage-Interest Deduction To Find Fewer Takers http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-23_TaxChangesMeanMortgageInterestDeductionToFindFewerTakers.html The resulting home mortgage-interest deduction -- once considered a tax break too sacred to touch -- will be used by just 13.8 million taxpayers, down 57%. In 2017, about 12.4% of the tax break went to households with incomes exceeding $500,000, and 36.5% of the benefit went to people earning between $100,000 and $200,000.

Now, 23.9% of the shrunken mortgage-interest deduction is projected to go to households making more than $500,000 with 28.9% of the benefit going to households between $100,000 and $200,000.

Other changes in policy also curb the mortgage-interest deduction, including the cut in marginal tax rates, which reduces the value of every deduction. Homeowners can now deduct interest on up to $750,000 in loans, down from $1m...

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iehi-feed-63864 Sun, 15 Apr 2018 13:27:46 GMT 247,977 stories in the Vacant City, priced out of reach for most http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-15_247977storiesintheVacantCitypricedoutofreachformost.html Early numbers from the Census Bureau's Housing and Vacancy Survey show the unoccupied city has ballooned by 65,406 apartments since 2014, an astonishing 35% jump in size in the three years since the last survey.

Today, 247,977 units -- equivalent to more than 11% of all rental apartments in New York City -- sit either empty or scarcely occupied, even as many New Yorkers struggle to find an apartment they can afford.

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But that still leaves more than 100,000 units -- 74,945 occupied temporarily or seasonally, and 27,009 held off the market for unexplained reasons.

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Additionally, many of the 75,000 temporary apartments are pied-à-terres, weekend or vacation crash pads for the rich, up from just 9,282 in 1987.

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Rewind again to 1987. The city, still recovering from decades of arson and abandonment, had 6,241 apartments that were vacant because they were too dilapidated to inhabit -- down from nearly 23,000 in 1975. The median asking rent for someone looking for an apartment to move into that year was $450 -- just 14% higher than median rent existing tenants paid.

Given the apparent benefits of bringing busted-up apartments back into use, it was possible to argue that encouraging more renovation and construction would be good for the city.

In 2017, the Census Bureau couldn't even locate enough dilapidated apartments to count -- but did find a median asking rent of $1,875, 30% higher than what a typical existing tenant pays. What's more, the vacancy rate for those expensive units is huge. Almost half the apartments available for rent in New York cost more than $2,000 a month -- and the vacancy rate for them is above 7%.

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More than 63,000 New Yorkers are living in homeless shelters (almost three times more than in 1987), and 30% of city households are shelling out more than half their income in rent. What they and all New Yorkers need is not simply the construction of more housing, but better means to keep rents within reach.

This is starting to be brought back in line by a price crash, now. Of course, that won't bring down the vacancy numbers for a while, as new supply is added even faster.

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iehi-feed-63853 Wed, 11 Apr 2018 22:43:41 GMT The Housing ATM is back: Cash-out share of all refis hits pre-crisis levels http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-11_TheHousingATMisbackCashoutshareofallrefishitsprecrisislevels.html iehi-feed-63849 Tue, 10 Apr 2018 21:38:09 GMT Trump attorney Cohen is being investigated for possible bank fraud, campaign finance violations - The Washington Post http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-10_TrumpattorneyCohenisbeinginvestigatedforpossiblebankfraudcampaig.html Michael Cohen, the longtime attorney of President Trump, is under federal investigation for possible bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations, according to three people with knowledge of the case.

FBI agents on Monday raided Cohen's Manhattan office, home and hotel room as part of the investigation, seizing records about Cohen's clients and personal finances. Among the records taken were those related to a 2016 payment Cohen made to adult-film star Stormy Daniels, who claims to have had a sexual encounter with Trump, according to a fourth person familiar with the investigation.

Investigators took Cohen's computer, phone and personal financial records, including tax returns, as part of the search of his office at Rockefeller Center, that person said.

In a dramatic and broad seizure, federal prosecutors collected communications between Cohen and his clients -- including those between the lawyer and Trump, according to both people.

The raids -- part of an investigation referred by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to federal prosecutors in New York -- point to escalating legal jeopardy for a longtime Trump confidant who is deeply intertwined in the president's business and personal matters.

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Two of the potential crimes being investigated -- bank fraud and wire fraud -- suggest prosecutors have some reason to think Cohen may have misled bankers about why he was using particular funds or may have improperly used banks in the transfer of funds.

Cohen has acknowledged facilitating a $130,000 payment in October 2016 to Daniels, who claims she had a sexual relationship with Trump in 2006.

Trump made his first comments about the payment last week, saying he did not know about the transaction.

Cohen has said he used a home-equity line of credit to finance the payment to Daniels and said that neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign reimbursed him for the payment.

Banks don't usually require much explanation from customers about how they use such credit lines. However, Cohen may have been asked to provide explanation for the large-dollar transfers he made when he moved the money to a shell company and then to a lawyer for Daniels.

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To serve a search warrant on a practicing attorney, federal prosecutors are required to obtain approval from top Justice Department officials. That means the acting U.S. attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey S. Berman [A Trump supporter], who was appointed to his role by Sessions in January, as well as Justice Department officials in Washington, probably signed off.

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To pursue criminal charges against Cohen for breaking federal election law, prosecutors would have to prove that he made the payment to Daniels to influence the election, rather than for personal reasons -- to protect Trump's reputation, for example, or his marriage.

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At some point, Cohen's New York bank, First Republic, flagged the transaction to the Treasury Department as a suspicious payment, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Cohen used his Trump Organization email in negotiating the agreement with Davidson and in communicating with his bank about the funds.

In February, after a watchdog group filed a complaint about the payment with the Federal Election Commission, Cohen released a statement saying he "used my own personal funds to facilitate" the payment. He rejected the idea that the payment should have counted as a campaign contribution.

This article has very comprehensive background with all you need to understand the possible basis for RICO-type charges against Trump, Cohen, and associates.

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iehi-feed-63848 Tue, 10 Apr 2018 21:31:52 GMT WeWork rival Knotel is now valued at $500M http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-10_WeWorkrivalKnotelisnowvaluedat500M.html Knotel closed a $70 million in a Series B funding round on Tuesday, with plans to expand rapidly and muster a serious challenge to industry leader WeWork.

The flexible office space startup led by Amol Sarva has now raised $100 million between two seed rounds, and is valued at $500 million, according to research firm Pitchbook.

Knotel, which in the past two years has leased more than 1.1 million square feet in New York, San Francisco and London, said the new funding will allow the company to double in size.

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iehi-feed-63844 Sun, 08 Apr 2018 16:26:03 GMT Kushner Partner in 666 Fifth Ave. Says It Has Deal to Sell http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-08_KushnerPartnerin666FifthAveSaysItHasDealtoSell.html The Kushner family appeared on Friday to have struck a deal to buy out its partner in the troubled Fifth Avenue skyscraper at the center of its real estate empire, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Kushners' partner, the publicly traded Vornado Realty Trust, has indicated for months that it was interested in selling its stake in the building, and on Friday, Steven Roth, Vornado's chairman, said in the filing that it had reached a handshake deal "to sell our interest to our partner."

The Kushners have attracted enormous public attention because of their connection to President Trump. Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump's son-in-law, was chief executive of the company until he joined the White House last year as one of Mr. Trump's key advisers.

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It is unclear if the announcement from Vornado means the Kushners have found a new partner, or who might be providing the financing for such a deal.

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In 2011, the Kushners sought to restructure their debt. Vornado bought a 49.5 percent interest in the building's office space and agreed to invest up to $80 million and take responsibility for a portion of the mortgage. The mortgage was divided into a $1.1 billion note and a $115 million secondary loan.

But Vornado imposed stiff terms. It was getting 11 percent interest on money it actually invested in the building, and a 3 percent return on the remaining money, if any, according to a financial report from Trepp, a company that tracks real estate debt.

The mortgage has swelled to $1.4 billion with accrued interest. The partners have been forced to cover shortfalls on the mortgage payments. And Vornado subsequently bought much of the retail space along Fifth Avenue from Crown and Carlyle for $707 million, except for a portion owned by Zara, the Spanish clothing chain. Vornado is expected to hang onto the retail space.

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iehi-feed-63841 Fri, 06 Apr 2018 21:48:43 GMT San Francisco Median Home Prices Have Over Doubled Since 2012 (Now $1,610,000) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-06_SanFranciscoMedianHomePricesHaveOverDoubledSince2012Now1610000.html iehi-feed-63830 Tue, 03 Apr 2018 17:00:39 GMT Manhattan Home Sales Tumble Most Since 2009 as Buyers Walk http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-04-03_ManhattanHomeSalesTumbleMostSince2009asBuyersWalk.html Sales of all condos and co-ops fell 25 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier to 2,180, according to a report Tuesday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc.and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. It was the biggest annual decline since the second quarter of 2009, when Manhattan's property market froze in the wake of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.'s bankruptcy filing and the global financial crisis that followed.

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While just a few years ago, bidding wars were the norm, "there's nothing out there today that points to prices going up, and in many buyers' minds, they point to being flat," said Pamela Liebman, chief executive officer of brokerage Corcoran Group. "They're now aggressive in the opposite way: putting in very low offers and seeing what concessions they can get from the sellers."

Corcoran Group released its own Manhattan market report Tuesday, showing an 11 percent decrease in completed purchases and a 10 percent drop in sales that are pending.

For sellers, to reach a deal in the first quarter was to accept a lower offer. Fifty-two percent of all sales that closed in the period were for less than the last asking price, according to Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman. Buyers agreed to pay the asking price in 38 percent of deals, but often that figure had already been reduced. Combined, the share of deals without a premium was the biggest since the end of 2012.

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The median price of all sales that closed in the quarter was $1.095 million, down 5.2 percent from a year earlier, brokerage Town Residential said in its own report. Three-bedroom apartments saw the biggest drop, with a decline of 7 percent to a median of $3.82 million, the firm said.

Neither new developments nor resales were spared from buyer apathy. Purchases of newly constructed condos, which continue to proliferate on the market, plummeted 54 percent in the quarter to 259, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman said. Sales of previously owned apartments dropped 18 percent to 1,921.

Ruh-roh!

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iehi-feed-63816 Fri, 30 Mar 2018 16:44:25 GMT Sydney real estate: Home sellers drop listed prices by up to 30 per cent http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2018-03-30_SydneyrealestateHomesellersdroplistedpricesbyupto30percent.html Homeowners in pockets of Sydney have been selling properties for up to 30 per cent below their advertised price after a steep fall in buyer demand.

Property experts claim sellers have been forced to accept GFC-level price declines due to a weakening market which makes it difficult to achieve the inflated sums properties were fetching six months or even a year ago.

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Sydney's median home price fell 1.3 per cent over the three months to December and by another 2.5 per cent in the following three months to March, according to property research group CoreLogic.

The latest three-month decline was the largest since August 2008, near the height of the GFC, and helped push the typical price of a home back down to $880,743.

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