Should You Hire a Broker to Find a Rental?

Finding a decent place to live in any city is important. With rental rates increasing, paying too much and getting too little can happen to anyone. You could spend a lot of time and money finding the perfect apartment for you and your family or you could hire a rental broker and save time while letting a professional find your next home.

What is a Rental Apartment Broker?

Queens Apartments

So what is a rental broker anyway? In short, a rental apartment broker is a person who connects landlords or property owners with renters. If you are looking for a place to rent, a rental apartment broker can be a big help. Rental brokers are often familiar with a particular market and have many resources they can rely on to find their clients apartments. They offer convenience and can save you time and money when searching for a place to live.

Why Would You Use a Broker?

If you have ever searched for an apartment either in your area or in a new city, you know how difficult it can be. There are many fake ads on the local rental sites and property owners who will tell you that their property is right for you when it actually isn’t. A rental apartment broker will cut through the hassles, the fake ads and the landlords who don’t have your best interests in mind and find you a perfect new home. Many brokers have access to some of the best properties in the local markets and often have first pick of the choice ones. This is an important benefit as you will be able to find the best value for your money.

Do You Really Need a Rental Broker?

To find out if you really need a rental broker for your next apartment, there are four important things to consider:

City

If you live in a crowded city where there are many others looking for the same apartment you are, a rental broker can help you be first in line on many properties that haven’t hit the market yet.

Time

Using a rental apartment broker is much more convenient and will save you both time and money. A rental broker will do the searching, they will set up the viewing appointments and they will find you the best rental apartment in your price range. You won’t have to take time off from work, nor will you have to travel back and forth to a new city to find a place to live.
So is a rental apartment broker right for you? If you want to save time and money and find the best apartment for your needs, then the answer is quite simple. Find a rental broker that can help you find your next home today.

Searching For Queens Apartments? Call 516-495-9196 For Your Questions.

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Giant, 1,000-apartment buildings are taking over NYC

Bigger is better — even when it comes to New York City’s residential buildings.

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Since 2008, the twin tops of the 1,359-unit Silver Towers rental have punctuated the sky above Midtown. In Queens, jumbo-sized Linc LIC leased out all of its 709 apartments two years ago.

But now, the city has reached a tipping point. More than 10 colossal rentals with 500-plus units — several housing more than 900 apartments — either just opened or are in the development pipeline.

Here are just a few.

The fall-opening American Copper Buildings at 626 First Ave. in Murray Hill, a pair of swooping structures connected by a skybridge, have 761 units. (One of its architects, from the prominent firm SHoP, once likened the design to Beyoncé and Jay Z dancing.)

In Long Island City’s Court Square, The Hayden, which will house 974 apartments in a glassy high-rise at 43-25 Hunter St., has topped out. Rockrose Development reportedly aims for completion next year.

Then there’s Douglaston Development’s 2 N. Sixth Place in Williamsburg. The waterfront tower’s 550 pads will go up for rent next March, with studios anticipated to start from $2,400/month.

The activity comes in response to high demand for rentals from both landlords and tenants. For developers, it’s a safer investment. Apartments rent faster than they can sell, and that means steady income for their builders. Hordes of tenants also get a sweet deal: new buildings packed with amenities — and no financial commitment.

“The younger generation is more mobile, more comfortable renting and not aspiring to homeownership the same way past generations [have],” says Doug Steiner, who’s developing The Hub, a 750-unit building on the rise in Boerum Hill. “Empty nesters, too, are returning to the city.”

It’s those fresh-off-the-boat urbanites — from recent grads to retirees — who are growing the city’s population. Experts say NYC has added between 50,000 to 60,000 inhabitants annually over the past several years. And they need somewhere to live.

“The population of New York City has expanded in connection with its job growth,” says Jeff Levine, of Douglaston Development, which is behind 2 N. Sixth Place, and that’s one main reason he notes for developers rushing into the rental scene.

But mega-buildings wielding hundreds of apartments also pack an urban-planning punch. There’s a chance these huge rentals will decrease density in their immediate vicinity — if they’re higher-income folks with smaller households or younger people without families, says Patrick Lamson-Hall, a research scholar at NYU’s Marron Institute of Urban Management. Still, he adds that nearby resources, like public transportation, could feel increased pressure from masses of residents.

Impacts aside, the market is still hot. Need proof? In Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, both rents and listing inventory have risen as developers continue to rise to the occasion, the latest Douglas Elliman numbers show.

Rental apartments have become ever more desirable — there’s less stigma [to not buying a place], and more effort in the design and amenities,” says Urby CEO David Barry, who is developing the 900-unit Urby Staten Island. Studios begin at $1,760, one-beds at $2,255 and two-bed spreads at $2,925.

The expansive project will include 35,000 square feet of retail, an on-site farm with farmer in residence and a communal kitchen with a resident chef.

Urby Staten Island is far from alone in its over-the-top perks. American Copper’s three-story skybridge fits a 75-foot pool, hot tub, a bar and lounge for residents and private terraces atop. Meanwhile, 70 Pine St. in the Financial District, which has 612 rental units priced from the $3,000s for a studio to over $9,000 for a three-bedroom, has a 23,000-square-foot La Palestra gym and a restaurant and lounge from acclaimed chef April Bloomfield planned for its pinnacle.

Luis Ortiz, a broker star of “Million Dollar Listing New York” who revealed he’s leaving real estate in last week’s season finale, moved into the massive 1,175-unit Sky rental at 605 W. 42nd St. — the largest single-tower residence in the US — in January. He doesn’t notice any crowding and attributes that to the building’s flow. For one, different elevator banks lead to various parts of the 71-story tower, so there’s never a backlog.

“You don’t feel the size of the building,” he says.

But he does notice that renters turn out to take advantage of the building’s amenity spaces. He especially enjoys the Carmelo Anthony-designed basketball court — where Anthony is frequently spotted — as well as the indoor and outdoor pools.

“I think the reason this building is getting leased so quickly is entirely because of the experience,” Ortiz says. “When [prospective renters] are touring the pool and they see tenants in bikinis and bathing suits, and there’s a DJ there, that’s an experience.”

Some note it’s only possible to offer such luxurious add-ons in a large building.

“The scale of a 500-plus-unit job allows you to create a highly amenitized property in an economically efficient way,” says Jeremy Shell of TF Cornerstone. His company is hard at work at 606 W. 57th St.: a 1,028-unit rental near the Hudson River that will reportedly have over 37,000 square feet of retail, parking and a basketball court. (TF Cornerstone has not released official information on the property.) A smaller building, earning less rental revenue, couldn’t afford to devote that much space to non-income-generating activities.

Fancy extras also satisfy the needs of increasingly discerning tenants. “Residents have a certain expectation, within the higher rent brackets, that a certain level of amenities be included within the building,” says Martin Piazzola of AvalonBay Communities, Inc.

AvalonBay is behind the development of the 500-unit AVA DoBro and the 326-unit Avalon Willoughby Square rentals, which are both housed in the same 58-story Downtown Brooklyn building. They share a pet spa, roof lounge, parking and 24-hour gym. Pricing begins in the $2,500s and the $2,600s for a studio, respectively.

But these features aren’t just for the well-heeled. In many of these mammoth buildings, a percentage of their apartments is earmarked for affordable housing, which is lotteried off to renters who fit income caps. They’ll pay a fraction of market rent. Along Queens’ southern waterfront, Hunter’s Point South Crossing and Hunter’s Point South Commons together house 925 permanently affordable and moderately priced rent-stabilized units. Completed in 2015 and fully leased, their amenities include a farm, gyms and kids’ playrooms.

Developers are also targeting areas that had little new development before. Take Gowanus, whose infamous canal banks are now home to Lightstone’s 430-unit development at 365 Bond St. (A second construction phase will provide an additional 270 units.) Studios begin in the mid-$2,000s, while townhouse units on the upper end start in the mid-$7,000s. Leasing launched in May; renters claimed over 100 units in less than two months.

“It was natural for people want to live there,” explains Lightstone’s Mitchell Hochberg. “Because of the proximity to Manhattan and the fact the neighborhood sits in between … more mature neighborhoods [like Boerum Hill and Carroll Gardens].”

But living large does have its challenges. “Our main concern is scalability,” says Eran Chen of ODA, the architectural firm designing an 800- to 900-unit complex on the site of the former Rheingold Brewery in Bushwick. “How do you bring about a project that is massive and not make it [an overwhelming presence]?”

In short, you broaden its reach to affect the neighborhood as a whole — not just residents.

“We came up with the idea … to overlay an old European city that consists of little streets and courtyards,” he adds, “[to] create a totally new scale that would be an addition to the community.”

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Relocating to New York for Work? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you’re moving to New York to take a new job, there’s one thing to know, right off the bat: everything costs more than it does in other cities, from food and rent, to transportation, utilities, and healthcare. According to consulting firm Mercer’s annual survey, NYC now ranks 11th in the world when it comes to the cost of living. To put that ranking into perspective, San Francisco ranks 26th, Los Angeles 27th, Chicago 34th, D.C. 38th, and Boston 47th—no other U.S. city cracks the top 25.

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But renting in New York is unlike anywhere else in the country. A fast-moving market and lots of competition from long-time New Yorkers and transplants make this seemingly reasonable task an epic challenge—and an expensive one. Go to PayScale’s Cost of Living Calculator and plug in your current city and New York, for comparison. You’ll likely see the bar on the housing category skyrocket. Here’s a comparison between LA and NYC, for example:

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No matter where you’re moving from, a little research beforehand will save you a lot of heartache. Prepare yourself, and you can ensure that the process goes smoothly.

Deciding Where to Live: Do Your Legwork

New York City’s diverse neighborhoods offer something for everyone. Spend some time researching the different neighborhoods available to you. This will not only help you determine which is the best fit for your lifestyle, but also what you can afford. Just be sure to keep your expectations realistic when searching. As previously mentioned, your salary may not go as far in New York. If you’re unwilling to downsize dramatically, consider roommates or moving further afield in Brooklyn (e.g. Crown Heights or Red Hook) or northward in Manhattan (e.g. Washington Heights and Inwood). This will of course affect your commute time, so take note of what transportation options will be available.

Parking and Transportation

If your job will be in Manhattan anywhere south of 96th Street, your best bet is to ditch the car. Unlike job centers such as Los Angeles where employers provide dedicated parking for their employees, New York’s business districts are notoriously inconvenient and expensive to drive and park in. The great majority of residential buildings in the city also do not provide parking spaces for residents. Therefore, if you decide to keep a car, you will likely be at the mercy of street-side parking rules and regulations or will have to pay hefty fees to one of the city’s relatively few garages.

Securing Your Apartment

New York City’s real estate market is red hot right now. Currently Manhattan’s vacancy rate is just 2.3 percent (Douglas Elliman, June 2016). Compare this to just above 5 percent in Boston, 3.8 percent in Chicago, and roughly 3 percent in Los Angeles and San Francisco, according to the latest available data. High demand makes for a tight market, and in NYC the best-priced places will often be snapped up within days of being listed. If you fall into the camp that is looking for a deal, be prepared to act quickly.

  • Be ready for a credit check.
  • Have your most recent bank statements and pay stubs handy. A common rule is that a prospective renter should earn at least 40 times the monthly rent.
  • Be prepared to hand over a hefty deposit within a day or two. Rent, security, and any brokerage fees are due at lease signing in the form of certified funds such as a money order and cashier’s check.
  • Have a guarantor in place if your finances are shaky.

New York City has numerous laws in place to protect tenants. This means it is incredibly difficult for a landlord to evict a tenant even if they haven’t been paying rent. This is really a landlord’s only opportunity to ensure a tenant will make good on their agreement.

The Role of Real Estate Brokers and No-Fee Rentals

A large percentage of buildings and landlords will opt to use brokers. Brokers are a way for landlords to vet tenants. One important thing to keep in mind is that both tenants and landlords pay fees for a broker’s services, unlike Los Angeles, Chicago, and D.C. where the landlord covers the cost. No-fee brokers do exist, but what’s in their chest of properties will differ from their paid counterparts. You can also skirt this extra cost by searching for no-fee rentals through dedicated sites.

While relocating to New York City may sound overwhelming to you, it’s not impossible. Remember, millions before you have successfully made the same move. On top of that, there truly is no other place like The City That Never Sleeps. You’ll be living in one of the world’s most diverse urban centers, and you’ll also be able to count yourself among the world’s crème de la crème in nearly every industry. In the words of Frank Sinatra:

If I can make it there

I’ll make it anywhere

New York, New York

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New York ranks 3rd worst city for renters; what’s your take?

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Some people might say you don’t need a study to tell you that rent prices across New York City are rising. In fact, many New Yorkers are finding it hard to find an affordable apartment.

A new study by Wallethub, confirms this. New York is the third worst city for renters, according to the study.

“New York is the third worst city for renters due to mainly its scarce rental affordability,” said Wallethub analyst Jill Gonzalez.

“In terms of rental affordability, it ranked 139th, with a fairly low median household income at $52,737 per year and a high rental cost for a two-bedroom apartment at $1,571 per month. Also, the rental vacancy rate is low, at almost 4 percent, ranking 137th. There are just not enough available units to go around. New York has the 6th highest cost of living in the country, so it’s understandable why residents there have a hard time renting,” she added.

STUDY FINDINGS

With family moving season historically peaking in July, the share of U.S. renter households increased in 2015 to more than 36 percent — the highest since the 1960s, according to Wallethub.

To help prospective renters get the most bang for their buck, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 150 largest cities based on their rental attractiveness and quality of life. In making such a comparison, Wallethub examined each city across 15 key metrics, ranging from historical rental-price changes and cost of living, to jobs availability.

The study findings were as follows:

Renting a Home in New York City (1=Best; 75=Avg.)

  • 139th – Rental Affordability
  • 137th – Rental Vacancy Rate
  • 145th – Cost of Living
  • 114th – Number of Paid-Relocation Jobs per Labor-Force Participants
  • 34th – Safety
  • 71st – Renter Households Spending at Least 50% of Income on Housing
  • 117th – City Satisfaction Ranking
  • 114th – Historical Rental-Price Changes
  • 90th – WalletHub “Jobs Availability” Ranking

STATEN ISLAND RENTS

Despite some encouraging employment trends, Staten Island’s largely middle class population continues to struggle in an economy where rents are rising while salaries are, at best, sluggish.

Realtors admit that rents on Staten Island appear to be rising at a higher rate than the city average, due to lack of rentals for the many residents who need apartments.

While the median asking monthly rent on Staten Island is estimated to be $1,817 by StreetEasy — less than the citywide average of $2,690 — it’s not cheap, especially for low and middle wage earners. In fact, StreetEasy estimates that borough residents need to spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent.

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Finding The Best Kew Garden,

NYC Apartment Rentals Kew Gardens is a beautiful place to live with plenty of gorgeous scenery. The spotlight of the Queens neighborhood is the botanical gardens nestled between the many apartment buildings. This upper middle class area values family life and provides a very tranquil environment for new families. People looking to find the best Kew Garden, NYC apartment won’t be disappointed by the amount of choices they have. While there are some small homes attached to the buildings, most of the area consists of large apartments. The historic buildings are between four and ten stories high, which make them easier for families with small children. Apartments in Kew Gardens focus on creating a convenient, yet comfortable living space. Apartments for rent feature several outstanding amenities, such as fitness rooms, pools, and private balconies. The interior of the apartment also has many possible amenities that can help make life easier. Newly remodeled kitchens with open floor plans can offer residents a convenient place to live and entertain. Full bathrooms with hot tubs can also be found in the area. Extra-large windows with perfect cityscape views can help you create your own slice of urban paradise. Each apartment for rent varies, and they all have a lot of potential. Sizes of the apartment can also vary in Kew Gardens. Because the area caters to apartment renters, it is easy to find an apartment with just the right amount of space for you and your family. Small and large studio apartments can make it easy to live the single life. Giant apartments with three or four bedrooms and multiple bathrooms are also available. If you are looking for a bigger floor plan, some apartment complexes even have space for townhomes. No matter what the size of the apartment is or the amenities it has, you will notice that your apartment has a green theme. Kew Gardens is dedicated to maintaining the historical area and keeping true to its original values. That’s why many apartment complexes and homes for rent in Kew Gardens try their best to use eco-friendly technology and maintain beautiful, healthy gardens. When you are ready to start searching for your ideal Kew Garden, NYC apartment try contacting a dedicated realtor or browsing listings online. Most real estate companies in Kew Gardens will be happy to help you find the best apartment for rent that fits your needs. Use their expertise to your advantage and find an apartment that you and your family can be happy in

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Brooklyn Real Estate to Manhattan: ‘What’s Good?’

<a href=”http://queensapartmentrents.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/10-dumbo-brooklyn.w529.h352.jpg”><img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-592″ src=”http://queensapartmentrents.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/10-dumbo-brooklyn.w529.h352.jpg” alt=”10-dumbo-brooklyn.w529.h352″ /></a>

Dumbo. <cite> Photo: dumbonyc/Flickr </cite>

For as long as there have been rivalries, Manhattan has often been presented as the place where people would rather live, and the other boroughs honorable mentions that will do nearly as nicely. That dynamic is shifting. After a spate of new real estate market reports, Brooklyn can now definitively say: “What’s good, Manhattan?”

According to the Douglas Elliman survey, it’s been a record-breaking last three months <a href=”https://www.elliman.com/reports-and-guides/reports/new-york-city/3q-2015-brooklyn-sales/3-636″ target=”_blank” data-track=”Body Text Link: External”>for Brooklyn</a> and, to a lesser but still significant extent, <a href=”https://www.elliman.com/reports-and-guides/reports/new-york-city/3q-2015-queens-sales/4-637″ target=”_blank” data-track=”Body Text Link: External”>Queens real estate</a>. The median price of a Brooklyn apartment is now at an all-time high of $676,250 — up 15.1 percent from the year before. Though Manhattan <a href=”http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/10/buyers-are-getting-priced-out-of-manhattan.html” target=”_blank” data-track=”Body Text Link: Internal: dailyintel”>did tremendous business</a> in the third quarter, and Queens did, too — the median in Queens is $450,865, a 14.1 percent jump from the same period in 2014 — Brooklyn is the only borough to best price records set in the heady pre–Lehman Brothers days. “There is no better way to speak to how Brooklyn has changed since the financial crisis,” says appraiser Jonathan Miller, who compiled the Elliman report. “To have the median price grow that much, and no one else grow that much speaks to the change in Brooklyn. It’s essentially a restructuring. [Brooklyn] is a destination.” Miller, who was in Shanghai last month to give a speech, gives this anecdotal, though perhaps telling, evidence: When he and his wife were touring the city, they were struck by how many people they saw wearing Brooklyn T-shirts. “I didn’t see anyone in Manhattan T-shirts,” he adds. “It’s not like anyone’s priced out of Soho and they go to live in Dumbo, it’s that they want to live in Dumbo.”

The outer boroughs also laid to waste any hint of seasonality in the real estate market; though summer is typically a slow season, it appears buyers didn’t get the memo. The number of sales in Brooklyn rose 14 percent to 2,368; Queens by 64.6 percent — yes, you read that right — to 3,642. “It was frenetic this summer,” says Corcoran’s Frank Percesepe, regional director of the brokerage’s Brooklyn offices. “I swear I had to call my agents back from the beach.” According to the <a href=”http://media.corcoran.com/pdf/reports/2015_Q3/Brooklyn_Q32015.pdf” target=”_blank” data-track=”Body Text Link: External”>Corcoran report</a>, 736 contracts were signed in the third quarter, up 9 percent from 2014 and signaling, perhaps, that the next quarter’s market survey will likely prove as strong as this recent one. (Deals usually close within a few months.) And it took less time for properties to sell, too: 54 days versus 63.

In contrast to Manhattan, where larger apartments saw prices give a little, co-ops and condos with three bedrooms or more in Brooklyn jumped 25 percent from last year’s median of $1.28 million to $1.6 million, <a href=”http://media.corcoran.com/pdf/reports/2015_Q3/Manhattan_Q32015.pdf” target=”_blank” data-track=”Body Text Link: External”>per Corcoran</a>. One-to-four-family townhouses — with which Brooklyn buyers are often besotted — saw median prices rise from $675,000 to $760,000, <a href=”http://media.halstead.com/pdf/Halstead_Brooklyn_QuarterlyReport_3Q15.pdf” target=”_blank” data-track=”Body Text Link: External”>according to Halstead Property</a>.

Low inventory continues to be the driver, as is high demand, says Sarah Burke, Elliman’s regional managing director for Brooklyn. “I don’t know how else to say this, there’s not enough housing.” (Burke recommends that buyers looking for deals that will likely appreciate in the future “go two or three stops [on the subway line] past where you think prime was, and stay within a five-block radius of the subway.)

And so the spillover to Queens, where prices in “all neighborhoods rose sharply,” says Miller, especially in neighborhoods like Long Island City, Sunnyside, Astoria, and Woodside. Buyers who can’t afford in prime areas are expanding their options sharply, trying to divine where the heat is headed next. “People want to be part of something developing,” adds Burke.

Even the suburbs are seeing new waves of buyers; sales in Westchester county are up 5.5 percent from 2014. And properties aren’t exactly cheap, though they’re more affordable than Manhattan and Brooklyn, anyway: The median price for a single-family is $529,000. “We’re looking at the future. Credit isn’t going to ease anytime soon. The NYC economy is probably not going to cool off in short term. It’s robust. Brooklyn isn’t going to lose its identity anytime soon. Inventory isn’t going to suddenly flood the market,” says Miller. “[So] what changes? Buyers and buyer confidence. It’s creating this reassessment of where we want to live.”

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Manhattan real estate hits new price record

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The price of a square foot of real estate in Manhattan hit a record in the third quarter — rising to $1,497, according to a new report.

The third-quarter Manhattan real-estate report from Douglas Elliman showed the real estate market was surprisingly strong given global economic weakness and volatility in the stock market. Inventory is tightening, prices are rising and apartments are selling faster and with frequent bidding wars. Despite some claims that real estate — especially at the high end — is reaching bubble proportions, there are few signs of a slowdown, at least for now.

<img src=”http://queensapartmentrents.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/THECHARLESIMAGE.png” alt=”CHARLES” />

<em> Penthouse at The Charles sold for $38 million, making it the most expensive apartment sold in Manhattan during the third quarter. </em>

“Everything is selling fast, I don’t see how there could be a bubble,” Howard Lorber, chairman of Douglas Elliman, told CNBC. “I think to some degree real estate follows the stock market, but people buy real estate to live in also, not just to invest in.”

According to the report, the average sale price of a Manhattan apartment rose 3 percent year over year to $1,737,565. The number of sales jumped 10 percent from last year and 37 percent over the second quarter.

The average price for square foot increased 18 percent for the year and 11 percent for the quarter, driven largely by new condo developments that are pushing up prices. Almost all the new developments are getting more than $3,000 a square foot, Lorber said.

Despite a Manhattan skyline filled with cranes and construction sites, sales inventory overall in Manhattan remains low and is actually declining. Listing inventory fell 3 percent over last year and declined 1 percent in the quarter to 5,654 units for sale.

With so few units up for sale, bidding wars are becoming more commonplace. More than half of all sales were at or above the list price in the second quarter — a seven-year record. And apartments sold within an average of 73 days after being listed — the fastest ever.

“The speed of this market is what stands out to me,” said Jonathan Miller, of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers, which compiles the Elliman report.

Lorber added that the strong job market in New York and Wall Street is driving most sales. But he said overseas buyers remain strong. The turmoil in the Chinese stock market and economy, he said, has driven more wealthy Chinese to move money into New York real estate.

“When the Chinese stock market went down, when their real estate market went down, that didn’t stop them from buying here,” Lorber said. “It actually made them more interested in getting their money out of there and buying in New York City.”

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