Tag Archives: Real Estate

Brooklyn Commons: For Business and Pleasure

Brooklyn Commons is the new name of the Brookfield Properties 16-acre business and cultural campus between Flatbush Avenue and Jay Street. Once named MetroTech Center, Brooklyn Commons has everything: offices for rent, trendy eateries, cultural programming, lush parks, and inviting open spaces. With an investment of $50 million, three Brooklyn Commons buildings are being overhauled and outfitted with new lobbies, terraces, and retail spaces on the entrance level.

Brooklyn Commons
Brooklyn Commons campus map

The renovations also include Brooklyn Commons Park, the 3.5-acre public park at the heart of the campus. With an ice skating rink that is open now, and new seating and lounging areas planned for the future, the space is already a great option for a day out. Brooklyn Commons also offers cultural programming for the public. The Arts Brookfield program at Brooklyn Commons has a robust schedule of educational lectures, art exhibits, film viewings, theater performances, concerts, food festivals, and holiday festivities.

Millenial Values Changing Investment Patterns

Growing up in Sydney, Australia, Shenal Harakh learned that real estate was the key to a prosperous financial future. For an immigrant family from India, it wasn’t a bad model: Real estate values Down Under have exploded in recent decades, with the median price for a single-family home jumping from A$111,524 in 1995 to A$871,749 at the end of 2020.

For the 28-year-old Harakh, however, real estate investing left her itching for “action.” Three years ago, the then-anthropology student at Australian National University decided to diversify into the stock market. The move was a prodigious one: In 2020 she turned a 174 percent return in addition to 27 percent and 14 percent returns (respectively) on the Bell Direct and Stake platforms, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Harakh’s investment strategy appears to be a guidebook on Investing for Millenials. Her LinkedIn page says her investments focus on “cultivat(ing) meaningful connections and content where you can see your universe of interests as well as those of others, but still have the ability to separate what’s private, public, or visible to specific contacts and know there’s more to your network than meets the eye.

“As we spend more time online and creating virtual connections, it’s important for us to be able to express the complexity and interconnected nature of our lives,” she writes.

At the same time, she is cautious to warn that market activists must be careful, and that it isn’t for everyone. “Trading is addictive,” she told the AFN. “And the last thing you want to do is lose everything because of this addiction.”

China Investing Heavily in US Real Estate

A recent study outlines the extent to which Chinese investors have been flooding money into the United States real estate market. According to the study a recent surge of Chinese buying of residential and commercial property as brought the five-year total investment to over $110 billion.

Conducted by the Asia Society and Rosen Consulting Group, the study shows that the huge size of the total investment helped the US real estate market recover from the real estate crash that began in 2006. The Chinese investment in real estate has also influenced other countries, inflating prices in developed markets such as Australia and the UK.

The study predicts that, despite the tightening restrictions of capital outflows by Beijing, the amount of investment will double to $218 billion.

“What makes China different and noteworthy is the combination of the high volume of investment (and) the breadth of its participation across all real estate categories,” including a “somewhat unique entry into residential purchases,” the study said.

Real Estate Taxes: Israel Tax Authority with Gidi Bar Zakay

To fight the soaring real estate prices, the Israel Tax Authority with Gidi Bar Zakay has taken many measures. In December of 2010, the Israeli finance and housing ministers made two new tax amendments. For those purchasing a second or third residential property, the taxes rose from 3.5% to 5% for properties that were up to IS 1 million. The tax went from 5% to 6% for those properties that were between IS1 and up to IS3 million.

However, non-primary residential properties have been taxed at 20% up until now; if sold within four years, they would now be tax exempt. These amendments were planned to be good for two years, and the end of this period is approaching soon. It will be interesting to see how the Israeli finance and housing ministers deal with it now, and how the Israel Tax Authority with Gidi Bar Zakay reacts.

Westwood Country’s Most Expensive College Town

The area of Los Angeles where UCLA resides, known as Westwood, is the costliest college town in the United States, in terms of the cost of housing according to a recent report.

The average cost of a three- bedroom, two-bath home in Westwood costs $1.27 million. Compare that with the nation’s cheapest college town, Memphis, the home of the University of Memphis, where the average price of a three bedroom home is just under $90,000.

According to the College Home Listing Report, based on a survey of 117 of the 120 “football subdivision schools”, two thirds of the towns in the survey offered homes for under $200,000.

“I love the College Home Listing Report because it highlights the amazing affordability of the college towns that define the fabric of America,” said Coldwell Bank CEO Jim Gillespie.

“Our report underscores the home ownership opportunities in many of these vibrant, affordable communities that are known for their high energy, educational systems and often stable job markets.”