Douglas Elliman Executive Chairman Howard M. Lorber expressed unqualified devotion to his hometown at a recent discussion of The Wealth Report, the compendium of data and insights on luxury investment trends published annually by Douglas Elliman and Knight Frank.
Speaking with Wall Street Journal real estate reporter Katherine Clarke for a March 27 event at 583 Park Avenue, the Bronx-born Lorber said, “I’m very bullish on New York. I believe that New York City is going to be the number one second-home market to the world.”
Although persistent inflation and high interest rates may have slowed new development projects here, Lorber said, NYC’s unrivaled lifestyle and cultural offerings ensure it will remain a draw for second-home buyers.
“If you think about it, where else could you go to buy or live part-time where you have everything,” he said. “You have every sport, you have ballet, you have theater, you have opera, you have museums—there is really no place like.”
Moreover, he added, part-time residents from elsewhere in the country and beyond can enjoy all NYC has to offer without having to pay the steep taxes.
Lorber’s remarks echoed one of the key insights from the recently published report, which identified London and New York as the critical cities for the world’s wealthy, with more ultra-prime property transactions ($25m+) in 2022 than in any other global market.
Forty-three transactions above this level took place in each city last year, representing a 26% increase in sales in London compared to 2021, but a 35% decline in New York. Los Angeles comes in third place with 39 sales, with Hong Kong (28) and Miami (23) making up the top five.
Asked if he believes the many New Yorkers who relocated to South Florida during the pandemic will hold onto their NYC properties, Lorber, who primarily lives in Miami, shared the results of his own informal survey “of about 17 or 18 people” in that cohort.
“I asked each one of them, ‘Are you selling what you have in New York?’” he said. “Zero said they were going to sell.”