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This Week’s Election Has a Big Impact on the Industry:

However you may have voted in last week’s presidential election, which drew record-breaking turnouts to many polling places around the US, there’s little doubt that the outcome was momentous. That seems to be the case especially when it comes to commercial real estate; asked whether the election would have a big impact on the industry, 74% of you voted yes. Exactly what form that impact will take is open to interpretation at this point and remains to be seen in any case—although many in the industry believe it’s likely that Barack Obama will seek to increase the capital gains tax. We asked Michael Slattery, SVP at the Real Estate Board of New York, for his take on what we can expect from the new administration and Congress.

“I’m hopeful that the effects will be positive. The change will be beneficial compared to the uncertainty prior to the election. The key thing for the real estate market will be the availability of credit, and it does from the early press events that the president-elect recognizes that and has made it a priority. That should be one reassuring element. He is still not in a position to do anything, unless he does it on the Senate side. It’s not likely to be focused on the real estate industry, more likely a stimulus package for the economy as a whole.

“We’ve always felt that the lower capital gains tax was an inducement to invest in real estate. Certainly any dramatic change in that rate is going to have an equally adverse impact on investment in real estate, so hopefully one would move cautiously in imposing a new barrier at a time when we’re trying to encourage investment.

“There’s been talk about greater infrastructure investment as a kind of stimulus. Hopefully, it will be beneficial to New York. We have significant infrastructure needs, whether it’s bridges or repairs or mass transit, which would certainly benefit from greater federal investment. So we’re hopeful that will materialize in New York.”

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