Real Estate Renaissance: Howard Lorber

Howard Lorber
Chairman, Douglas Elliman

When I am asked to comment on my beliefs about the New York real estate market and how it will perform over the next few years, I generally answer with, “Tell me how the stock market is going to perform and then I can answer how the real estate market will do.”

This has proven to be the case over the last 20 years, at least as it relates to New York City real estate.  This is most likely true because the economy of New York City is very dependent on the financial industry located here. Unlike the rest of the country, New York City real estate rebounded very quickly as the stock market stabilized in 2010. In fact, it is not really necessary for the stock market to go up to influence the buyers for New York City properties to come into the market.  All that is needed is a stable stock market­—one that isn’t necessarily going up a lot; but one that is not going down every day.

I feel very confident that the real estate market will remain healthy over the next few years, as the economy continues its slow but steady rebound. This is all aided by the availability of low-interest mortgages and reduced inventory levels. While many point to the government deficits as a potential problem for real estate, I believe deficits will ultimately cause inflation, which has, in the past, produced rising real estate prices.

Obviously, local politics also play a role in this and we will be voting for a new mayor soon. Let us hope that we will have a mayor that is pro-business, strong on crime, and reasonable about how much tax any of us can, and will, pay before we decide to move elsewhere.