Mortgage applications fall during holidays even as rates sink

first_imgTagsHousing MarketMortgagesResidential Real Estate (Getty)Low mortgage rates weren’t the presents some might have been hoping for this holiday season.Despite attractive borrowing costs, an index tracking mortgage applications to buy homes fell 0.8 percent over the past two weeks, seasonally adjusted, from the week of Dec. 14, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.The MBA metric, known as the purchase index, is usually a weekly figure, but the survey released Wednesday encompasses the final fortnight of 2020. It was also adjusted to account for holidays.For the final five weeks of 2020, applications to purchase homes fell in four of them.Read moreMortgage applications fall as home prices soarThe mirage of low interest ratesSingle-family housing starts now at 2007 bubble level Full Name* Joel Kan, MBA’s head of industry forecasting, said the two-week holiday slump is typical, and expressed optimism for the housing market in 2021.“The steady demand for homebuying throughout most of 2020 should continue in 2021,” he said in a statement. “MBA is forecasting for purchase originations to rise to $1.59 trillion this year — an all-time high.”During the mini-slump, rates dropped for the average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 2.86 percent from 2.90 percent two weeks earlier. Jumbo rates fell by one basis point to 3.08 percent.MBA’s index tracking refinance applications over the past two weeks dropped 6 percent compared to the week of Dec. 14.The MBA’s overall index, which surveys 75 percent of the residential mortgage market for purchase and refinance applications, dropped 4.2 percent, adjusted. The report has been running since 1990.Contact Erin Hudson Email Address*center_img Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink Message*last_img read more

Suffolk OTB to acquire Jake’s 58 in $120M deal

first_img Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Jake’s 58 (Google Maps, iStock)When Rudy Giuliani was mayor, he liked to call the city’s Off-Track Betting the only bookie in the world that loses money.It looks like Suffolk OTB is having better luck.The Hauppauge-based bookie is buying out a company that owns Jake’s 58, the video-lottery casino and adjoining 228-key hotel in Islandia, in a roughly $120 million deal, according to Newsday. That price tag also includes a buy-out of Buffalo-based hospitality company Delaware North’s management fees.The acquisition will end OTB’s contract with Delaware North — on which 46 years remained — saving it $13 million a year in rental and management fees. It will also put a years-long dispute over revenues to bed.ADVERTISEMENTAbout 93 percent of what the casino pulls in goes back to bettors, leaving 7 percent for Delaware North, the casino’s vendors and the state’s public schools. Suffolk OTB sued Delaware North in 2019, alleging that the hospitality company used the casino as a “piggy bank” to cover its other expenses. Delaware North countersued and the two companies ultimately reached a settlement.Suffolk OTB’s acquisition will mean more cash for the county, said company spokesperson Jon Schneider.“Simply put, ownership of the Jake’s 58 property and management of the casino hotel will put Suffolk OTB in a position to contribute more money to Suffolk County than it otherwise would, a benefit that will only grow in time,” he told the publication.Jake’s 58, which sits on the Long Island Expressway North Service Road, has ranked among the highest-grossing video-lottery casinos since it opened in February 2017. It’s raked in $250 million per month since reopening in September, Gaming Commission records show.County officials plan to hire a consultant to review the plan.[Newsday] — Danielle Balbi Tags Commercial Real Estatehamptons-weeklylong islandsuffolk countylast_img read more

Developers, city race to get approvals before regime change

first_img Tags Share via Shortlink Email Address* Bill de Blasioulurp Full Name* Message* Photo illustration of Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty, iStock)Within the next eight months, the de Blasio administration hopes to rezone two neighborhoods and upend hotel construction citywide. At the same time, more than four dozen private rezoning applications aim to win City Council support — or risk restarting negotiations with a new regime.Any election year would add urgency to the approval process for zoning changes, special permits and other types of applications, but this year the pressure is even greater because the city suspended its Uniform Land Use Review Procedure for six months during the pandemic, causing applications to back up.Since it resumed Sept. 14, some 51 proposals have entered the seven-month public process, according to the Department of City Planning, which calculated the volume through the end of March. That’s nearly twice as many as during the same period a year ago..ADVERTISEMENT“Since September, we’ve seen strong interest in applications advancing before the end of the administration this year, as well as a very engaged public,” Department of City Planning spokesperson Joe Marvilli said in a statement.Election years are crucial in land use. By City Council custom, applications are decided by the member or members whose districts are affected, and private applications also need the administration’s blessing. Term limits prevent Mayor Bill de Blasio and 35 of the 51 Council members from seeking re-election this year, and 14 of the other Council incumbents have primary challengers. So virtually all applications not decided by Dec. 31 will be at the mercy of an as-yet unknown person.Few developers will take a significant project into public review — a process that can itself cost more than $1 million for studies, legal fees and other expenses — with that kind of uncertainty. That means developers must get their applications into public review by late May. The de Blasio administration faces the same deadline for its own rezonings, notably sweeping proposals for Gowanus and Soho.The land-use review, known by its acronym Ulurp, is dictated by the City Charter, which hasn’t been altered much since a landmark constitutional challenge forced an overhaul in 1989.“Changing the process really would require a much more far-reaching set of approvals,” said Mitch Korbey, chair of Herrick’s land use and zoning group. “Much more important to most folks is: Where is the City Council member or City Council on this specific project?”Consider Gowanus, which the city is seeking to rezone to make way for 8,500 residential units, of which 3,000 would be affordable. Term-limited City Council member Brad Lander, who represents the area, favors rezoning and is negotiating terms with the de Blasio administration. But most of the candidates to succeed him oppose the plan. Its fate may hinge on its surviving a legal challenge to the hearing process and getting to a City Council vote this year.“If Ulurp is delayed past the term of this administration, there will still continue to be new development in our community,” Lander said in an email. “But rather than an intentional effort at a more integrated, affordable and sustainable neighborhood, we would see the acceleration of new hotels, ax-throwing bars, crossfit gyms and storage sites, all of which are allowed by the current zoning, with no requirements for affordability, climate resilience or infrastructure investment.”Without a rezoning there would also be far less residential development, which would be a lost opportunity for property owners and builders — and for families who would live in the affordable housing, according to supporters of the proposal.Private applications are also vying for approval before the end of the year. City records show notices have been filed for more than a dozen such proposals, meaning they can begin public review after 30 days.Virtually all applications not decided by Dec. 31 will be at the mercy of an as-yet unknown person Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Getting to that point can be grueling; the Gowanus plan was eight years in the making. The next administration will need at least several months to set its agenda.“To get certified and into the Ulurp process is a lot of the battle,” one city developer said. “That would be delayed under a new administration.”More than 30 private applications are at various stages of the process. They range from modest to massive.At 270 Nostrand Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, BRP Companies faces pushback on plans for a 14-story mixed-use building on the former site of CABS Nursing Home.On the Williamsburg waterfront, Two Trees Development this month applied for zoning to allow its 1.3 million-square-foot River Ring development. The project, which was expected to enter public review last year but was delayed by the pandemic, calls for two mixed-use towers with more than 1,200 apartments, 313 of which would be affordable.Two Trees knows better than most the danger of a project spanning administrations. It threatened to sell its gigantic Domino project when the newly installed de Blasio demanded it include more affordable apartments than the Bloomberg administration had sought. They compromised at 40 additional units.The administration is also aiming to rezone Soho and Noho, where it faces considerable community resistance. Village Preservation executive director Andrew Berman has called it an attempt to “cram another ill-advised plan down the throats of New Yorkers” as the “sun sets” on the de Blasio administration.Those rezonings are among a handful of initiatives de Blasio has identified as priorities for his final year. Others include incentives for developers to make subway stations more accessible and to build grocery stores in low-income communities.The administration is also pushing to require special permits for new hotel construction throughout the city, which would force developers into Ulurp to build or expand a hotel. The city has framed the proposal — which itself requires City Council approval — as a way to ensure “more predictable development” and to limit “the extent to which a hotel use may impair the future use or development of the surrounding area.”Critics have called the proposal a favor to the Hotel Trades Council, a longtime de Blasio ally that strongly supported his ill-fated presidential campaign.“If it doesn’t get done in this administration, it isn’t happening, probably,” said Robin Kramer, a partner at Duval & Stachenfeld who specializes in land use issues. “There’s no planning rationale.”Contact Kathryn Brenzellast_img read more

Boston Properties to launch $2B joint venture

first_img Tags Email Address* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Boston Properties CEO Owen Thomas (iStock, Thomas by Axel Dupeux)Boston Properties is making a $2 billion bet on the office market.Executives at the real estate investment trust announced during its first quarter earnings call that it will team up with two sovereign wealth funds to invest in office real estate.The investors, which the REIT said it would identify once the joint venture paperwork was finalized, will put in about $1 billion worth of equity, which will work out to about $2 billion in purchasing power.“It will be investment-by-investment,” said CEO Owen Thomas, “and if it goes well, it could be bigger.”Boston Properties also announced on the call that it launched three new life sciences labs in Boston and South Francisco totaling almost $1 billion in investment.ADVERTISEMENTThe life sciences and biotech sectors are closely watched by the investment and brokerage communities, which see them as a source of demand for space with a long runway for growth. The top 14 markets across the country are expected to add 36 million square feet of lab space.In New York City, projects by Taconic Partners and Silverstein Properties, Alexandria Real Estate Equities and Georgetown Properties have experienced recent success.On Park Avenue South, Enterprise Asset Management is looking to sell its interest in a 450,000-square-foot property that could be converted to a life sciences hub across the street from medical fund manager Deerfield’s hub at 345 Park Avenue South.But Boston Properties executives said their largest markets are in the areas surrounding Boston and San Francisco, and that there wasn’t even a close third.The REIT reported net income of $91.6 million for the first three months of 2021, down from $497.5 million during the same period last year.Boston Properties executives said they’re seeing a strong increase in tenants touring spaces, but they’re not yet signing large leases in the same numbers as before the pandemic.Correction: A previous version of this article said Boston Properties’ new joint venture would be focused on life sciences. The JV is focused on all office developments, not just life sciences.Contact Rich Bockmann Share via Shortlinkcenter_img Message* Full Name* Boston PropertiesCommercial Real EstateReal Estate Investmentlast_img read more

More Manhattan luxury contracts have been signed in 2021 than in all of 2020

first_img Full Name* Tags Message* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Donna Olshan, the report’s author, called it “an incredible market by any standard,” but also noted that 2020 was a “garbage year” that skews comparisons due to the low volume of deals during the first months of the pandemic. For example, during the final week of April in 2020, there was just one luxury contract signed.But even compared to the years before the pandemic, 2021’s numbers aren’t looking too shabby. In 2019, for example, there were 817 luxury contracts signed over 12 months.The average asking price per square foot for condominium contracts, which dominate the luxury market, is also on par with previous years.So far this year, it’s $2,835 per square foot, compared to $2,802 in 2019, and $2,733 in 2020.Olshan also noted that the average size of luxury condo units that have gone into contract increased about 8 percent so far this year to an average of more than 3,000 square feet. That’s compared to about 2,800 square feet, which was typical from 2013 until last year.Of last week’s 41 contracts, the most expensive was a penthouse at Silverstein Properties’ 30 Park Place in the Financial District. The five-bedroom duplex was initially asking $29.5 million when sales launched at the new development building in 2014. The price was later reduced to $25 million. The unit spans 5,937 square feet with a 434-square-foot outdoor loggia.The second priciest contract was for a penthouse at Midwood Investment and EJS Real Estate’s 150 East 78th Street on the Upper East Side. The 4,593-square-foot duplex has five bedrooms, an expansive living room with a fireplace and 594 square feet of outdoor terraces. It was last asking $20 million.Contact Erin Hudson Email Address* Share via Shortlink 150 East 78th Street and 30 Park Place (150east78th, Thirty Park Place)Four months in and 2021 has officially bested all of 2020 when it comes to luxury real estate deals in Manhattan.Last week saw 41 luxury contracts signed in the borough, bringing the total number of deals so far this year to 652, according to Olshan Realty’s weekly report. That’s seven more than were signed in all of 2020.And the total dollar amount for luxury contracts signed in the first four months of 2021 is more than $5.5 billion. That’s compared to the entirety of 2020, when the total volume of signed contracts was over $5 billion.The final week of April also marked the 13th week that more than 30 luxury contracts — for properties asking $4 million or more — were signed in the borough, the longest stretch of elevated contract activity for the luxury market since the Olshan report launched in 2006.ADVERTISEMENTRead moreManhattan luxury contracts continue winning streakJon Stewart’s old penthouse trades for 26% lessA FOMO market: Manhattan new development sees record activity Luxury Real EstateManhattan Condo MarketResidential Real Estatelast_img read more

Power line harmonic radiation in Newfoundland

first_imgRecent research strongly suggests that harmonic radiation from electrical power distribution networks in industrialized regions (PHLR) has a significant effect on the occurrence of VLF waves and the energetic electron population in the inner magnetosphere, particularly in the American longitude sector. We have measured the PLHR power radiated into the magnetosphere from typical high voltage power transmission lines in Newfoundland due to unbalanced currents flowing in the lines which return through the ground, at harmonics of 60 Hz up to 4.5 kHz. From measurements of the induced a.c. magnetic field at distances from the lines both small and large compared to the skin depth (typically 1 km at 1 kHz), we have been able to estimate both the amplitudes of these unbalanced harmonic currents (~ 1 mA for frequencies 1–4 kHz) and the radiation efficiency of the lines considered as transmitting aerials. We estimate PLHR radiated powers of order 0.05–0.5 μW per transmission line in a 1 kHz bandwidth around 3.2 kHz. This is probably much too small to stimulate magnetospheric emissions but we expect considerably greater radiated powers in other locations where there are strong single sources of 60 Hz harmonics and also in areas where the power consumption density and hence density of power lines is greater.last_img read more

Geochemistry of Palaeozoic–Mesozoic Pacific rim orogenic magmatism, Thurston Island area, West Antarctica

first_imgThurston Island, and the adjacent Eights Coast and Jones Mountains, record Pacific margin magmatism from Carboniferous to Late Cretaceous times. The igneous rocks form a uniformly calc-alkaline, high-alumina, dominantly metaluminous suite; some relatively fractionated granitoids are mildly peraluminous. The magmas were hydrous, a result of subduction. Gabbros have compositions outside the range of mafic volcanic and hypabyssal rocks, as a result of cumulate processes. Trace element compositions of the mafic magmas range from a low La/Yb, Th/Ta end-member close to E-MORB in composition, perhaps contaminated by crust, to a high La/Yb, Th/Ta end-member, close to shoshonite, with strong magmatic arc trace element character. This variation may be a result of mixing of tholeiitic and shoshonitic end-members. Most silicic rocks could have been generated batch-wise from mafic magmas by fractional crystallization of a phenocryst assemblage dominated by plagioclase, pyroxene ± amphibole, as seen in the cumulates. Cessation of magmatism at about 90 Ma approximately coincided with collison of a spreading centre between the Phoenix and Pacific oceanic plates with the continent margin subduction zone. The rifting of New Zealand from West Antarctica and associated extension probably was responsible for emplacement of a coast-parallel Cretaceous dyke swarm.last_img read more

Relativistic electron acceleration and precipitation during resonant interactions with whistler-mode chorus

first_imgResonant interactions with whistler-mode chorus waves provide an important process for electron loss and acceleration during storm times. We demonstrate that wave propagation significantly affects the electron scattering rates. We show that stormtime chorus waves outside the plasmapause can scatter equatorial electrons ≤60 keV into the loss cone and accelerate trapped electrons up to ∼ MeV energies at large pitch-angles. Using ray tracing to map the waves to higher latitudes, we show that the decrease in the ratio between the electron plasma and gyro frequencies, along with the normalized chorus frequency bandwidth, enable much higher energy electrons ∼1 MeV to be scattered into the loss cone. We suggest that off equatorial pitch-angle scattering by chorus waves is responsible for relativistic micro-burst precipitation seen on SAMPEX. Off-equatorial scattering at pitch-angles well away from the loss cone also contributes to the acceleration of higher energy ≥3 MeV electrons.last_img read more

Electrical structure across a major ice-covered fault belt in northern Victoria Land (East Antarctica)

first_imgA Geomagnetic Depth Sounding profile was performed across the glaciated Rennick Graben and the adjacent fault-bounded terranes of northern Victoria Land in East Antarctica. Induction arrows analysis and a 2D inversion model provide a unique deep electrical resistivity window beneath these fault zones. The electrical resistivity break across the Lanterman Fault is apparently restricted to the upper crust, suggesting that this strike-slip fault may not represent a deep lithospheric suture. Further east, a westward-dipping conductor is traced to a depth of 40 km beneath the Robertson Bay Terrane. It may image a remnant of the paleo-Pacific oceanic plate, which subducted beneath the Bowers Terrane. Within the Wilson Terrane, the Rennick Graben is an upper-crust resistive block. The Rennick Graben lacks a deep crustal or upper mantle conductor, in contrast to several continental rifts. However, similar resistive lower crust underlies some other major strike-slip fault belts.last_img read more

Atmospheric temperature responses to solar irradiance and geomagnetic activity

first_imgThe relative effects of solar irradiance and geomagnetic activity on the atmospheric temperature anomalies (Ta) are examined from the monthly to interdecadal timescales. Geomagnetic Ap (Ap) signals are found primarily in the stratosphere, while the solar F10.7-cm radio flux (Fs) signals are found in both the stratosphere and troposphere. In the troposphere, 0.1–0.4 K increases in Ta are associated with Fs. Enhanced Fs signals are found when the stratospheric quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) is westerly. In the extrapolar region of the stratosphere, 0.1–0.6 and 0.1–0.7 K increases in Ta are associated with solar irradiance and with geomagnetic activity, respectively. In this region, Fs signals are strengthened when either the QBO is easterly, or geomagnetic activity is high, while Ap signals are strengthened when either the QBO is westerly, or solar irradiance is high. High solar irradiance and geomagnetic activity tend to enhance each other’s signatures either making the signals stronger and symmetric about the equator or extending the signals to broader areas, or both. Positive Ap signals dominate the middle Arctic stratosphere and are two to five times larger than those of Fs. When solar irradiance is low, the signature of Ap in Ta is asymmetric about the equator, with positive signals in the Arctic stratosphere and negative signals at midlatitudes of the NH stratosphere. Weaker stratospheric QBO signals are associated with high Ap and Fs, suggesting possible disturbances on the QBO. The signals of Ap and Fs are distinct from the positive temperature anomalies resulting from volcanic eruptions.last_img read more