5th Avenue blues

Hat tip Evilspeculator

They counted 48 vacant properties (I presume mostly street-front) from 59th to 14th Streets on 5th Avenue in Manhattan. I don’t have any stats to compare this to, but it is clear that times are not so good for landlords (and their banks) in NYC. I used to live on the same block as one very large storefront shown here, and I happen to know that that particular property has been vacant for over 18 months, ever since its former tenant, a nationwide retail chain, went bankrupt.

I have noticed that many of the “for rent” signs you see in Manhattan bear the name of Vornado or other such REITs. That sector is still doomed, though traders seem to have forgotten to ask, “where’s the equity?” I suspect that in most cases, an honest accounting would reveal that net of debt and marked to market, there is none at all.

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6 thoughts on “5th Avenue blues

  1. Add to that list the sustained low equity put:call ratio, treasury strength since June, and extreme dollar bearishness. Clearly, we have many signs of a top. It is just a waiting game now.

  2. Thanks mike, you’re right about call/put ratio and the others.

    I am wondering though, how is it possible for the sales figures to show increases in spending even after excluding cars? Specially when all the retailers (maybe excluding Apple and Wal-mart) are showing declines. What do you think?

  3. It was only a month over month increase. That kind of stuff is just noise, not signal. Even so, with optimism about stocks and earnings so high this summer, it is only natural to see some of that society-wide optimism reflected in things like retail and corporate capital expenditure (though we haven’t yet seen the latter).

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