Summit Notebook

Audio – Treasury Secretary Paulson proven wrong on housing, Toll CEO says

June 27, 2007

henry-paulson.jpgA recent spate of weak indicators in the housing industry shows that U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (pictured) was mistaken in May, when he predicted a near-term end to the housing correction, Toll Brothers Chief Executive Robert Toll told the Reuters Global Real Estate Summit.

Audio – Homebuilder CEO supports mortgage industry regulation

June 27, 2007

robert-toll.jpgMortgage industry excess has led housing into a “black hole,” the chief executive of luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers told the Reuters Global Real Estate Summit.

Audio – Toll sees political cycle influencing housing cycle

June 27, 2007

toll.jpgConfidence may begin to return to the U.S. housing market once the U.S. political parties have chosen their candidates for the next presidential election and people can start to feel more optimistic, according to the Chairman and CEO of luxury home builder Toll Brothers. As a result Robert Toll considers the earliest likely pickup in housing demand will be next spring. “I see no reason for it to come back until there is a change in confidence and I see no reason to expect a change in confidence of the body politic, the society in general, until probably April.” At that stage the candidates will probably be focusing Americans on how things can get better “rather than focusing on what is wrong and bad and what’s pretty horrible and how are we ever going to get out of the mess we are in.”

Audio – Might Chinese sporting Gucci sunglasses buy Toll Brothers houses?

June 27, 2007

sunglasses.jpgToll Brothers Chief Executive Robert Toll is seeing a link between Chinese people wearing Gucci sunglasses and a business opportunity. And that’s one reason he is about to send a team to scout out possible homebuilding joint ventures in China’s first and second-tier cities, Toll said at the Reuters Global Real Estate summit.

Audio – To park easy in New York City, try the 16th floor

June 27, 2007

dottie-herman.jpgThe housing downturn lingers, but you’d never know it in New York City, where everybody from empty-nesters to new parents are clamoring for housing, driving up prices and inducing developers to offer increasingly opulent amenities, Prudential Douglas Elliman Chief Executive Dottie Herman told the Reuters Global Real Estate Summit.

Audio – Centerline to launch distressed real estate debt fund

June 26, 2007

marc-schnitzer.jpgThere’s gold in distresssed real estate debt, for those who know how to pan for it, Centerline Capital Group Chief Executive Marc Schnitzer told the Reuters Global Real Estate Summit.

Audio – Scoring points with subprime mortgage guidance

June 26, 2007

The five regulators writing stricter guidance on subprime mortgage underwriting haven’t finalized a date for its release, though it should be very soon, said Scott Polakoff, senior deputy director and chief operating officer for the Office of Thrift Supervision, at the Reuters Global Real Estate Summit

Audio – Cranes cast long shadow over real estate business

June 26, 2007

alec-burger.jpgWhen one of the leaders of General Electric’s real estate operations travels to scope out opportunities in the U.S. or elsewhere, he uses his plane’s landing as a chance to scan a city’s skyline for an overabundance of cranes.

Audio – Jones Lang CEO says days of big real estate deals are over

June 26, 2007

dyer.jpgThe days of multi-billion dollar deals for real estate companies, such as Blackstone Group’s $23 billion purchase of Equity Office Properties earlier this year, are probably over — at least for now. That’s the view of Colin Dyer, the CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle, which is one of the largest real estate services firms in the world. “That may have been the last of the big deals that gets done in this current market,” he told the Reuters Global Real Estate Summit in New York in reference to the Equity Office takeover and a $15 billion deal for residential real estate firm Archstone-Smith. Dyer said that lenders were being more cautious and that the opportunities to flip, or onsell, properties quickly had diminished. That doesn’t mean there is a drop in the demand for real estate – Dyer said he sees volumes of transactions remaining strong — but that the large aggressive deals won’t get the financing nearly as easily as in the recent past.