Kent Swig

My Thoughts.

Halstead Wins at The Deal of the Year!

On this past October 23rd, I attended the annual Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) Awards Dinner where Linda Guido of Halstead won the Deal of the Year award under the rental category.  It is always so nice to attend this dinner with all of our colleagues in the real estate industry and the evening was made particularly great as with Linda’s award.  Congratulations to Linda!

REBNY Annual Awards Gala

REBNY Annual Awards Gala

Written by swigeq

October 30, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Ariel Sharon Park, Israel

One of the most exciting projects taking place in Israel today is the development and building of the Ariel Sharon Park, the Hiriya Recycling Park, and the Center for Environmental Education. This project seeks to “reclaim” the land that was used for decades as Israel’s largest waste dumping ground for much of the trash generated by the country. Israel started to use this area for waste dumping in the 1950’s and continued dumping its trash there up to 1998. The result was the building of one of the largest “hills” in the country which was built out of waste and was an environmental disaster area.

Today, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Martin Weill, and of the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, this waste land and waste hill is being transformed into a 2000 acre park that will be three times larger than the size of New York City’s Central Park!

This incredible project has opened the first phase of creating park land where only trash used to exist, and I was fortunate to tour the area during my recent trip to Israel with the Israel Bond delegation from September 10th through September 14th. The work being done and the technology being used is truly extraordinary! This effort provides a shining example to the rest of the world of what can be accomplished, when combining determination with technology, creativity, and innovation to correct human kind’s faults and mistakes and turn them into successes and benefits.

Kent Swig with Martin Weill, creator of the Ariel Sharon Park and the Hiriya Recycling Park

Kent Swig with Martin Weill, creator of the Ariel Sharon Park and the Hiriya Recycling Park

Martin Weill, addressing the Israel Bond delegation overlooking the Ariel Sharon Park being developed in the background.

Martin Weill, addressing the Israel Bond delegation overlooking the Ariel Sharon Park being developed in the background.

Ariel Sharon's son, Gilad Sharon, addressing  the Israel Bond delegation as he spoke of his father's passion for the State of Israel which included the creation of this 2000 acre park land and transforming the land into beauty from it prior condition as a garbage dump.

Ariel Sharon’s son, Gilad Sharon, addressing the Israel Bond delegation as he spoke of his father’s passion for the State of Israel which included the creation of this 2000 acre park land and transforming the land into beauty from it prior condition as a garbage dump.

View of the newly created visitor's center and landscaping at the Ariel Sharon Park.

View of the newly created visitor’s center and landscaping at the Ariel Sharon Park.

Written by swigeq

October 22, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Panel Discussion with Real Estate Board of New York

On September 15, 2014, I participated in a panel discussion with REBNY (Real Estate Board of New York) where I spoke with Michael Vargas, the Director of Vanderbilt Appraisal, a division of Terra Holdings. The panel was moderated by Greg Heym, the Chief Economist for Terra Holdings and its operating companies: Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property.

The panel discussion focused on both the macro-economic and micro-economic trends of the market place, mainly focusing on the residential sector but also discussing the commercial sector as well.

All of us agreed on the strength of the residential market and highlighted the lack of inventory of available apartments for sale in New York City which has led to a dramatic increase in prices over the past 18 months.

This lack of inventory has also led to a slight decrease in transaction volume for 2014 to date, when compared to the volume in 2013. This, I suggest, is a result of increased pricing as well as fewer choices of apartments for buyers which has led to a certain amount of frustration of the part of the buyers. As a result, some buyers have become so discouraged that they have actually removed themselves from the market place and have stopped their searches for new apartments.

Also of note, currently, there are approximately 400 apartment/town house listings that are priced over $10 million. This is interesting to note, especially when considering that prior to 1996, there were fewer than 10 apartments that ever sold over $10 million in the history of  New York City!

Left to right: Kent Swig; Michael Vargas, Director of Vanderbilt Appraisal (a Terra Holdings company); Greg Heym, Chief Economist for Terra Holdings.

Left to right: Kent Swig; Michael Vargas, Director of Vanderbilt Appraisal (a Terra Holdings company); Greg Heym, Chief Economist for Terra Holdings.

Left to right: Kent Swig; Michael Vargas; Greg Heym

Left to right: Kent Swig; Michael Vargas; Greg Heym

 

Written by swigeq

October 4, 2014 at 8:39 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Briefing with Israel’s President

Another briefing that was held for the Israel Bond delegation occurred with Israel’s President, Reuven Rivlin, which took place in the President’s residence in Jerusalem. The President spoke of his family’s history in Jerusalem which goes back for over 5 generations. The President also thanked us for all of our efforts and hard work, as well as for our various successes on behalf of Israel and its citizens.

Israel's President, Reuven Rivlin, addressing the Israel Bond delegation.

Israel’s President, Reuven Rivlin, addressing the Israel Bond delegation.

Kent Swig seated in the President's receiving room located at the President's Residence.

Kent Swig seated in the President’s receiving room located at the President’s Residence.

Written by swigeq

October 2, 2014 at 9:26 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Meeting with Israel’s Minister of Finance and Deputy Minister of Finance

During the Israel Bond delegation, we also met with Israel’s Minister of Finance, Yair Lapid, and Israel’s Deputy Minister of Finance,  Mickey Levy. The Finance Minister congratulated us on our raising $250 million in bond sales since the outbreak of the military campaign, Operation Protective Edge. The Minister told us of the strategic importance of the Israel Bonds organization both to the State of Israel itself as well as to the citizens of Israel through the ongoing investment in the country.
The Finance Minister described the unique relationship of Israel’s citizens and the Jewish diaspora and suggested that any of us could be in the other one’s shoes as all of us find ourselves in a “revolving” door” and that we are interdependent on each other as a result.
Israel's Minister of Finance, Yair Lapid, addressing the Israel Bond delegation.

Israel’s Minister of Finance, Yair Lapid, addressing the Israel Bond delegation.

Israel Minister of Finance, Yair Lapid, on right, and Deputy Minister of Finance ,Mickey Levy, applauding the work of Israel Bonds and the members of the delegation.

Israel Minister of Finance, Yair Lapid, on right, and Deputy Minister of Finance, Mickey Levy, applauding the work of Israel Bonds and the members of the delegation.

Written by swigeq

September 30, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Briefings with Israel’s Minister of Defense and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Other insightful briefings in which I participated with The Israel Bond delegation was with Israel’s Minister of Defense, Moshe Ya’alon, who spoke passionately about the tremendous sacrifices that were made by Israeli soldiers during the Operation Protective Edge. He informed us that this military campaign was Israel’s largest since the 1982 Lebanon War and he discussed the tremendous strain that was imposed on all of Israel’s citizens. He, too, thanked the Israel Bond organization for its continued support and efforts during this most challenging time.
Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon

Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon

We also were briefed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tzachi Hanegbi, who spoke to our delegation at a beautiful outdoor dinner at the Hebrew Union College next door to the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs briefed us on the current situation with Hezbollah in Lebanon as well as the current state of affairs with Hamas in Gaza. He also spoke of the heroic efforts on the part of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the latest military campaign in Gaza, and thanked the United States for all of our support, emotionally, financially, and physically through the supplying of Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.
Israel's Deputy  Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tzachi Hanegbi, addresses the Israel Bond Delegation

Israel’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tzachi Hanegbi, addresses the Israel Bond Delegation

Written by swigeq

September 28, 2014 at 10:19 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Israel Bonds Delegation to Israel

Recently, I participated on a delegation to Israel through Israel Bonds, on whose National Board of Directors I serve. We spent four days there and held several meetings with many key dignitaries including a briefing with Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu. The Prime Minister gave us many keen insights into the current events of the Middle East and Ukraine. He also thanked the Israel Bond organization for all the work and efforts that we undertake and pointed out the deep gratitude that Israel has to the Jewish Diaspora, “our family”, for our continued support and investment and faith in Israel and its citizens.
Kent Swig with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (on right with red tie).

Kent Swig with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (on right with red tie).

Kent Swig overlooking the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Kent Swig overlooking the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Kent Swig along Israel Bonds Way in Jerusalem

Kent Swig along Israel Bonds Way in Jerusalem

Israel Bonds International Delegation

Israel Bonds International Delegation

Written by swigeq

September 17, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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