North American Property

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a-big-mansion What happens when an ex-managing director of Fortress hedge fund teams up with  Sotheby’s in a real estate venture? Well, if you are switched on and know thy market you can probably guess – the vultures are leering!

George Graham, formerly of Fortress’s Drawbridge Special Opportunities Fund, joined a real estate auction house last month. The house works closely with Sotheby’s (BID) International Realty in order to sell off luxury homes.

office-space-for-lease Commercial real estate is suffering in Florida thanks to the credit crunch. This is putting an increasing strain on Florida banks as a growing number of commercial property owners are forced to default on their loan payments. Driven by declining rental income, empty storefronts and a general lack of available funds to keep their investments afloat in dire times many investors of commercial property are now costing banks millions putting them at risk of failing in return.


Foreclosure sales are dominating the Southern California market which in turn is forcing house and condominium prices down by as much as 23 percent. MDA DataQuick revealed the median price dropped from $348,000 to $268,000 a year ago.

For the regions of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties the number of homes sold increased almost 19 percent in the last 12 months to 24,104.

foreclosure-home Property vultures are circling to pick the bones clean of deals as the US property clock has wound prices back to the same levels as they were in 2003, according to financial researchers Standard and Poor’s.

House prices fell 18% in April in S&P’s 10 and 20 city indices.

Commercial property has crashed alongside home prices registering a  20% decline, with market expectations of another good way to go – perhaps another 20%.


The once thriving real estate market in New York’s prestigious Manhattan district has experienced a heavy blow in the last three months. Sales have gone down by 50% and prices have continued to sink, leaving owners little hope to sell their apartments for a nice profit.

Jonathan Miller, CEO of real estate appraiser Miller Samuel, stated: “Sales were off by 50% because of the weak economy, rising unemployment and, most important, the credit crunch.”


Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee shop operator is currently pushing its U.S.landlords to reduce their shop lease rates by a much as 25 percent according to Bloomberg news reports. They are obviously taking advantage of the weak real estate market to save money on rent.

Starbucks’ rent-reduction efforts were first seen earlier this year in January, as part of a plan to trim overall expenses. The company also announced the closure of 300 of their coffee stores and a cut of as many as 6,700 jobs. This is a direct result was a of 69 percent first-quarter profit loss.

417 Fifth Ave New York

As we all know by know, times are tough. Signs of it are found everywhere we look – from flagging real estate prices to job losses and everything else in between. However, when a 40 storey skyscraper in the middle of New York sells for a measly $100,000 we can’t help but wonder what in the world is going on.

The tower is positioned right on a prime corner of real estate, close to the Museum of Modern Art and close to the Rockefeller Center and Central Park.

While China is in the middle of a housing downturn, wealthy Chinese buyers are travelling to the US in groups on home-buying tours. Many are buying homes in the US to take advantage of the recent reduction in real estate.

Yin Guohua, a partner in a law firm stated ”The real estate prices in America have gone down drastically. It’s a good option for Chinese people who want to buy for investment purposes.”