NAREE names annual real estate journalism award winners
The National Association of Real Estate Editors announced the winners of its 68th Annual Journalism Awards, recognizing excellence in reporting, writing and editing stories about residential and commercial real estate.
Matt Clark, Newsday, received NAREE’s Platinum Award for Best Individual Entry.
The President’s Gold Award for Best Freelance Collection went to Ronda Kaysen, freelance writer for the New York Times and Architectural Record.
Nick Nehamas, Miami Herald, was the winner of NAREE’s Best Young Journalist Award.
NAREE presented the awards June 15 at its 52nd Annual Real Estate Journalism Conference at the Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas.
A panel of expert judges from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University selected all winners. Medill’s Cici Rodgers was the chaired the panel.
Here are NAREE’s 2018 winners with judges’ comments:
Platinum Award: Best Overall Individual Entry: Matt Clark, Newsday. “Separate and Unequal” Comment: “A careful, critical and resounding examination of a tax-assessment policy that impacted everyone in Nassau County—for better or worse, primarily disadvantaging minorities and low-income residents. Clark makes a complicated subject understandable and enticing to his audience as well. Dynamite journalism!”
President’s Award: Best Freelance Collection: Ronda Kaysen, freelance writer, Architectural Record magazine: “In earthquake-torn Mexico, architects look to recovery” New York Times: “Tenants offered buyouts are left in the lurch” New York Times: “A month rent-free: A great deal or a gimmick?” Comment: “Kaysen distinguished herself as a versatile, thorough and prolific freelancer with a strong sense of the kinds of stories that will connect with readers. Her work is thorough, well-written and personal – told through the experiences of carefully-vetted sources.”
Ruth Ryon Award: Best Young Journalist: Nick Nehamas, Miami Herald. “Buying a home in Miami-Dade” Comment: “Nehamas explores soaring home prices in South Florida and their impact on people and the larger economy. An excellent exposition of a big, area-wide problem and possible solutions. The story includes a stunning interactive map by ZIP code that covers Fort Lauderdale as well as Miami-Dade.”
Category 1: Best Collection of Work by an Individual Covering Residential Real Estate
Gold Winner (tie): Nick Nehamas, Miami Herald. “Buying a home in Miami-Dade” Comment: “Nehamas explored soaring home prices in South Florida and their impact on people and the economy. An excellent exposition of a big, area-wide problem and possible solutions. The story includes a stunning interactive map by ZIP code that covers Fort Lauderdale as well as Miami-Dade.”
Gold Winner (tie): Nathan Tempey, Brick Underground. “Affordable housing“ Comment: “In these stories, Tempey explored the intricacies of affordable housing in New York City. Excellent advocacy journalism for New York tenants and buyers who are trying to navigate rent-regulation laws.
Silver Winner (tie): Stefanos Chen, New York Times. “How the ferry is changing the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront” Comment: “With the introduction of the subsidized NYC Ferry system, once-distant neighborhoods got a new lifeline to the city core, changing the calculus for would-be condo buyers. A New York tour de force, fascinating in both the broad strokes and the details.”
Silver Winner (tie): Jon Gorey, freelance writer, Boston Globe. “Boston market changes” Comment: “This group of stories addressed discrimination against families in the rental market and the impact of climate change on Boston’s waterfront properties. Gorey provides both the broad strokes and intimate touches that bring these stories to life. Informative and alarming.”
Bronze Winner (tie): Jeff Collins, Orange County Register. “Fewer evictions offer some hope” Comment: “Evictions may be waning in Southern California, but they’re still a big problem. Collins spent months gathering data, getting to know evicted families and going to court. This was a gripping group of stories, beautifully told and carefully documented.”
Bronze Winner (tie): Lorraine Woellert, Politico. “HUD in Trump’s first year” Comment: “This group of stories provided essential coverage of housing policies and the people who would drive them in the Trump administration. With deep sourcing and richly detailed story-telling, Woellert pulls the readers in and keeps them there to the end.”
Honorable Mention Winner (tie): Prashant Gopal, Bloomberg News. “Great divide in the housing market” Comment: “Gopal focused on homeowners in some sort of trouble – from Houston floods to the inner city – and documented the inequities they suffered when they were at their most vulnerable. Vivid, well-written and deeply reported.”
Honorable Mention Winner (tie): C.J. Hughes, freelance writer, New York Times and The Real Deal Rhapsody. “Second Avenue Subway brings new development” Comment: “Hughes demonstrates a range of reporting and writing in this group of stories, from the impact of a new mass transit line in NYC to a deeply detailed, visually appealing roundup of the best places to live in the U.S.”
Category 2: Best Collection of Work by an Individual Covering Commercial Real Estate
Gold Winner: Cameron Sperance, Bisnow. “A collection from women in construction and smashing the lavender ceiling to Amazon’s search” Comment: “In addition to quality of writing and reporting, this entry was selected for the second story (about how women can help ease the labor shortage in construction) and the third story (about the LGBT community in commercial real estate). Those stories stood out because their focus was unique and they addressed timely issues both in commercial real estate and life in general.”
Silver Winner: Randyl Drummer, CoStar News. “Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and their impact on hundreds of millions of square feet of multifamily, office, retail and industrial properties” Comment: “This entry tackled a topic that has been written about quite a bit: hurricanes and the damage they cause. But this one took a different approach, explaining how the hurricane season – specifically Harvey and Irma – impacted commercial real estate. The before and after photos in the stories are helpful, as is the graphic in the third story that focuses on Harvey.”
Bronze Winner: Richard Webner, San Antonio Express-News. “The opaque world of multi-million-dollar development” Comment: “These stories focused on timely topics in general and what they mean for commercial real estate: donations in political races, tax incentives and tax breaks for a wealthy developer with a questionable record of property maintenance for low-income individuals. Well-reported and written.”
Honorable Mention Winner: Robyn Friedman, freelance writer, Wall Street Journal / Multi-Housing News “Commercial real estate trends and single family investment guideposts” Comment: “All three stories are well-reported and well-written, but it’s the third story – about supply and demand for senior housing, including assisted living, and what the outlook is – that makes this entry stand out.”
Category 3: Best Real Estate Column
Gold Winner: Ralph Bivins, Realty News Report. “Space City’s Astrodome: The landmark that embodies the soul of Houston.” Comment: “A love letter to an iconic piece of real estate after it received landmark status, this column provides history and context and connects with its local audience.”
Silver Winner: Alanna Schubach, Brick Underground. “Ask an expert column: AirBNB.” Comment: “This column provides detailed answers to readers’ most important questions about New York real estate with careful research and reporting.”
Bronze Winner: Ronda Kaysen, freelance writer, New York Times, 360 View Real Estate column. “A month rent-free: A great deal or a gimmick?” Comment: “Kaysen sifts through the tricks and gimmicks landlords use to hook would-be tenants to reveal they’re not all they’re cracked up to be.”
Honorable Mention Winner: Eli Segall, Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Building near Raiders stadium site has checkered possibly haunted, history.” Comment: “Segall goes beyond the usual formula for covering properties near new developments to focus on the fascinating history of one building with a few skeletons in its closets.”
Category 4: Best Economic Analysis
Gold Winner: Prashant Gopal, Bloomberg News. “Why Trump’s immigration crackdown could sink U.S. home prices.” Comment: “This story had it all: data, impacted individuals, excellent sourcing and fine writing.”
Silver Winner: Roland Li, San Francisco Business Times. “By feasting on S. F. ‘partial stakes’, big real estate investors are saving millions in taxes” Comment: “Smart analysis and deep reporting make this story a must-read.”
Bronze Winner: Lorraine Woellert, Politico. “Why Washington can’t fix the new housing crisis” Comment: “This is a fresh take on the housing shortage in the U.S. and why it can’t be fixed by Washington economic policy.”
Honorable Mention Winner: Jon Gorey, freelance writer, Boston Globe. “The Fix is Out” Comment: “Well-written, entertaining and smart economic analysis of why we replace rather than repair the many things in our lives.”
Category 5: Best Interior Design Story
Gold Winner: Edgar Allen Beem, Design New England. “Simply Friendship” Comment: “Through artful writing, beautiful photos and meticulous reporting, this story offers the history, context and process that was behind design decisions in an off-the-beaten-path community.”
Silver Winner: Jura Koncius, Washington Post. “The reign of beige” Comment: “This story mixes Washington’s design with deep context, political history and character. If you’ve never owned a “club chair,” this story will make you reconsider!”
Bronze Winner: Michele Lerner, freelance writer, Washington Post. “Modernizing a 1929 colonial while still honoring its history” Comment: “Brings what could be a ho-hum renovation tale to life by finding details about the home and its history with its interesting modern-day occupants.”
Category 6: Best Real Estate E-Newsletter by an Individual
Gold Winner: Eileen Woods, Boston Globe.“ADDRESS, Oct. 6, 2017” Comment: “This e-newsletter entices the reader with photos and concise, well-written teasers that lead to a variety of stories, from 3-D home building to affordable housing and historic before-and-after home renovation.”
Silver Winner: Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle.
Comment: “Prime Property has snappy teasers that make readers want to click through to engaging stories about the city’s commercial real estate scene.”
Bronze Winner: Tony Consiglio, TecHome Builder.
“TecHome Builder Insights”
Comment: “Engaging, breaking news and features teased in concise blurbs with accompanying photos and quality video pieces.”
Honorable Mention Winner: Jessica Fiur, Commercial Property News.
“CPN: Insights for Small and Emerging Real Estate Owners and Managers”
Comment: “Visually appealing, easy-to-view-and-click-on, reader-service stories aimed at small or emerging commercial real estate operators who need more do-it-yourself news.”
Category 7: Best Architecture Story
Gold Winner: Regina Cole, freelance writer, Design New England.
“Bid It Stay”
Comment: “A fascinating look at the 19th-century home and studio of sculptor John Manship, creator of Rockefeller Center’s “Prometheus Bringing Fire from Heaven.” The property is now a living museum and an artists’ residence and retreat.”
Silver Winner: Stefanos Chen, New York Times.
“The Unsung Postwar Apartment”
Comment: “This story takes a deep look at the unloved and overlooked postwar residential real estate and architecture of NYC through the eyes of real people. Connects with data.”
Bronze Winner: Jon Gorey, freelance writer, Boston Globe.
“When Sears sold the American Dream”
Comment: “This is a fresh, modern take on post-WWI Sears mail-order homes. Gorey digs up archival items on Boston-area Sears homes and talks to their owners.”
Honorable Mention Winner: Valerie Schremp Hahn, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“Happy 150th, Frank Lloyd Wright! His legacy endures in St. Louis”
Comment: This is a deep dive into Wright’s legacy in St. Louis and his influence on later architecture there and in the state of Missouri.”
Category 8: Best Residential Real Estate Story – Daily Newspaper
Gold Winner (tie): Richard Webner, San Antonio Express-News.
“Low-income landlord Starr gets tax breaks despite allegations of poor living conditions”
Comment: “An appalling litany of legal and financial chicanery and problems, supported by tax breaks, all enriching the developer while leaving a trail of tears for tenants and investors.”
Gold Winner (tie): Lorraine Woellert, Politico.
“We have a big problem: Puerto Rico seeks aid for tens of thousands of squatters.”
Comment: “An astonishing, troubling revelation about Puerto Rico housing, describing a pervasive, deplorable condition untouched by hurricane recovery aid because these squatters are neither owners nor tenants, thus not qualified for FEMA assistance. Well-supported and well-balanced, despite the baleful message, by extensive data, quotes and photos.”
Silver Winner (tie): Ronda Kaysen, freelance writer, New York Times.
“Tenants offered buyouts are left in the lurch”
Comment: “When New York City landlords buy tenants out of their rent-regulated apartments, the deals are usually shrouded in mystery, with both parties signing nondisclosure agreements. This story is an eye-popping peek beneath the shroud of New York rent control, extremely well-documented.”
Silver Winner (tie): Eli Segall, Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“More Las Vegas houses boarded up despite improved economy”
Comment: “A fine, well-documented story about how a simple local problem morphs into others. Good data, a graphic and photos support this story.”
Bronze Winner (tie): Arielle Kass, Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Neighbors resist growing density”
Comment: “This engaging story addresses the resistance by established neighborhoods to denser residential development in their backyards. Kass presents all sides of this teeth-gnashing urban residential dispute.”
Bronze Winner (tie): Marilyn Kalfus, Orange County Register.
“Sister Act: Two women in pink hard hats restore historic Anaheim homes”
Comment: “An amusing, heart-warming story about two middle-aged women – sisters – who restore homes in Anaheim, California. A fun read.”
Honorable Mention Winner (tie): Jeff Collins, Orange County Register.
“Fewer evictions offer some hope”
Comment: “Collins takes good news – fewer evictions in Southern California – and with deep research, strong reporting and artful writing, tells a more nuanced story about the continuing struggles of low-income residents through a family that is dealing with the consequences of having been evicted.”
Honorable Mention Winner (tie): Roxana Popescu, freelance writer, Washington Post.
“Luxe sheds put a little serenity in the back yard of a crowded house”
Comment: “A clever, fun story about the metamorphosis of backyard sheds. They’re no longer storage shacks but spaces that let people fulfill their needs or fantasies.”
Category 9: Best Mortgage or Financial Real Estate Story – Daily Newspaper
Gold Winner: Jacob Adelman, Philadelphia Inquirer.
“HQ move is a sweet deal for Blatstein”
Comment: “This is an informative insight into the use of a federal tax credit to rationalize a redevelopment project, well-supported by data and quoted sources.”
Silver Winner: Ronda Kaysen, freelance writer, New York Times.
“Smaller housing markets lure individual investors”
Comment: “A clever exploration of offbeat real estate investment opportunities that depend on unsophisticated investors’ trust of online come-ons.”
Bronze Winner: Kenneth Harney, Washington Post Writers Group.
“Agency warns that questionable refinancing may be costing veterans big money”
Comment: “Harney sounds the warning in a reader-service story about a government mortgage agency cracking down on ‘too good to be true’ mortgage refinancings. Solid writing and reporting made this a worthwhile story.”
Honorable Mention Winner: Jeff Collins, Orange County Register.
“Who is that man with Reza Jahangiri?”
Comment: “A cleverly written story about the leading reverse mortgage lender in the country, American Advisors Group, and how its celebrity spokesmen and late-night TV advertising are largely to credit for its growth.”
Category 10: Best Commercial Real Estate Story – Daily Newspaper
Gold Winner (tie): Jonathan O’Connell, Washington Post Magazine.
“The Fixer-Upper. How a salty, pugnacious developer with a ninth-grade education is saving the character of old Washington, building by building.”
Comment: “An engaging story about an engaging character with a personality as memorable as his string of Washington renovation successes. A gem!”
Gold Winner (tie): C.J. Hughes, freelance writer, New York Times.
“After the launching (and scrapping) of Navy ships, a new mission.”
Comment: “An enterprising and fascinating look at reuse of old Navy bases, all on important waterways.”
Silver Winner: Jeff Collins, Orange County Register.
“This map shows the extent of the Southern California apartment boom. Will all the construction help lower your rent?”
Comment: “This story deals with the impact of new luxury apartment construction on rent-burdened, working-class households. A superb interactive map, charts of new developments, plus lots of good data and quotes.”
Bronze Winner: Mike Higdon, Reno Gazette-Journal.
“Dead or alive? Downtown Reno’s West 2nd District, one year later.”
Comment: “Multiple sources and good data provide a fine balance to a story that cuts through the hype of a large developer’s promised $1.2 billion project on 17 acres that he had not yet secured.”
Category 11: Best Small Daily Newspaper Real Estate Story – Daily Newspaper under 75,000 Circulation
Gold Winner: Akiko Matsuda, Journal News.
“Under the radar: Tiny-house owners face zoning challenges in the Hudson Valley”
Comment: “An imaginative treatment of the tiny-home craze focusing on illegalities rather than livability, with good staff photos of several homes.”
Silver Winner: Jason Hidalgo, Reno Gazette-Journal.
“Reno renters buckle from record-high apartment rent, ‘near-zero’ vacancy”
Comment: “This story looks at just how serious the apartment problem is in Reno. With personal examples, solid data and quoted sources, Hidalgo explores a significant trend with widespread implications.”
Category 12: Best Weekly Newspaper Real Estate Story – Business Weekly
Gold Winner (tie): Adam Sichko, Nashville Business Journal.
“This is Nashville’s next land rush”
Comment: “Sichko explores the implications of gentrification in Nashville’s most ethnically diverse neighborhood. Multiple sources make this story of impending culture clash more human than most developers’ dreams. Supported by an excellent map.”
Gold Winner (tie): Blanca Torres, San Francisco Business Times.
“Housing’s tale of two cities: Seattle builds, San Francisco lags”
Comment: “This thoroughly reported story offers many insights and provides a deeper understanding of land use, long-term planning and housing demand. A fine, timely comparison of the two cities.”
Silver Winner: Roland Li, San Francisco Business Journal.
“How Veritas became the new face of San Francisco real estate”
Comment: “Veritas grew from a one-man firm into San Francisco’s largest residential landlord in under a decade. A remarkable success story, nicely balanced.”
Bronze Winner: Cynthia Lescalleet, freelance writer, Leader News.
“The do-over: one man’s castle”
Comment: “In this clever and engaging column, Lescalleet introduces us to a baker who spent a decade building a castle on the outskirts of Houston. ”
Category 13: Best Residential, Mortgage or Financial Real Estate Magazine Story – General Circulation
Gold Winner: Michele Lerner, freelance writer, Washington Post.
“An art lover’s make-it-work moment: Fitting 40 pieces in his basement apartment”
Comment: “A kind of quirky, unique story about an art collector who downsized into a basement apartment and turned what could have been a dark and depressing area into a mini art gallery. The pictures help tell the story.”
Silver Winner: C. J. Hughes, freelance writer, Rhapsody magazine.
“Ruins to Riches”
Comment: “A data-rich dive into five cities: New York, Miami, Chicago, Denver and San Francisco, where once-forgotten neighborhoods have transformed dramatically. The result of old-fashioned phone and shoe-leather reporting combined with Census records, real estate data, rental websites and city planning documents, this story is informative and well-written. The rich graphics and photos add a great deal.”
Bronze Winner: Colin W. Sargent, Portland Monthly Magazine.
Comment: “The pictures are key to telling the story of this castle in Maine that was for sale at the end of 2017. It’s an interesting story that we suspect got people to read about history without calling the piece a history story.”
Category 14: Best Residential Real Estate Trade Magazine Story
Gold Winner: Matt Power, Green Builder magazine.
“The promises and pitfalls of plastics in construction”
Comment: “A comprehensive look at how plastics, which are such a detriment to the environment, can be used in a constructive manner for building materials. It’s not a cheerleading story for the plastics industry but instead a well-sourced, well-written story about the topic. The photos, graphics and numbers help tell the story.”
Silver Winner: Kyle Clapham, Qualified Remodeler.
“Developing a new workforce”
Comment: “This story looks at what local builders are doing to address a shortage of workers, including apprenticeships. The topic is timely and the story is thoroughly reported.”
Bronze Winner: E.B. Solomont, The Real Deal.
“Murdoch ‘moves’ on Zillow”
Comment: “A well-written story on why Rupert Murdoch has gotten into the digital real estate space via Move, Inc., specifically eyeing New York City, and what his plans may be as his company takes on rival Zillow.”
Honorable Mention Winner: IvyLee Rosario, Multi-Housing News.
“Attacking the hack”
Comment: “Interesting story on how property managers can prevent hackers from breaking into their systems and getting information about residents. Timely, given the news about major companies that have been hacked.”
Category 15: Best Commercial Real Estate Trade Magazine Story
Gold Winner: Jeff Shaw, Seniors Housing Business.
Comment: “Timely story on how developers are looking beyond traditional senior-housing facilities, which essentially just have housing for seniors and nothing more, and instead are looking to have senior housing in mixed-use facilities –– all-inclusive communities with everything from retail to movie theaters to restaurants, which helps alleviate the loneliness that some seniors feel after leaving their homes.”
Silver Winner: Joe Gose, freelance writer, Northeast Real Estate Business.
Comment: “Gose’s story about the growing popularity of affordable commercial property investment is everything a trend story should be: deeply researched, clearly documented through a variety of interviews and persuasively written.
Bronze Winner: Mark Maurer, The Real Deal.
“Is New York real estate showing symptoms of distress?”
Comment: “A well-reported, in-depth look at commercial real estate properties in NYC that aren’t as healthy as investors expected them to be. The story includes the number of foreclosures in all five NYC boroughs, giving additional heft to the story.”
Honorable Mention Winner: Ronda Kaysen, freelance writer, Architectural Record.
“In Earthquake Torn Mexico, Architects Look to Recovery.”
Comment: “An interesting look at what architects and designers are learning about design and construction in Mexico following two earthquakes there in September 2017.”
Category 16: Best Online Residential, Mortgage or Financial Real Estate Story
Gold Winner (tie): Oshrat Carmiel, Bloomberg News.
“Manhattan gets $20,000-a-month homes for new breed of seniors”
Comment: “With lots of relevant data and great quotes, this story describes how developers are rushing to meet demand for assisted living from an “underserved” cohort: ailing, super-wealthy 80-year-olds in New York City. ”
Gold Winner (tie): Teke Wiggin, Inman News.
“Will digital middlemen become toll booths for real estate agents?”
Comment: “With effective use of data, clear writing and graphics, photos and video, this story analyzes how real estate agents must balance old-fashioned relationship-building with the new digital rules of the road.
Bronze Winner: Bryan Walsh, Inman News.
“The coastal mortgage time bomb”
Comment: “This analysis is based on solid reporting and data that raises the specter of a crisis in coastal real estate as climate change raises sea levels and more extreme storms cause flooding.”
Silver Winner: Tim Donnelly, BrickUnderground.com.
“Roommate/boyfriend wanted: One woman’s bold quest to solve two eternal NYC problems at once.”
Comment: What happens when a woman from Brooklyn places an ad for both a roommate and a boyfriend? Snappy writing, relevant data and even advice from a relationship therapist all make this a story that connects with readers.“
Honorable Mention Winner: Paul Owers, CoStar News.
“Senior housing meets luxury living”
Comment: “Owers elevates this story about developers’ new upscale senior projects in South Florida with data and great interviews, including a developer who says it’s the adult children who want their parents to have dog parks and rooftop dining, and a 92-year-old resident who describes his new home as a “luxury cruise without the water.”
Category 17: Best Online Commercial Real Estate Story
Gold Winner: David M Levitt, Bloomberg.com.
“In the shadow of Manhattan, a troubled city is having a moment”
Comment: “A well-written, contextual story about the possible arrival of a long-awaited revival of Newark, New Jersey. Supporting data, high–quality sourcing and plentiful graphics and photos shine in this online story.
Silver Winner (tie): Heather Perlberg, Bloomberg.com.
“Tom Barrack juggles Trump defense and revamped property empire”
Comment: “This in depth story is a profile of Trump friend and advocate Tom Barrack and an examination of why his real estate investment trust, Colony NorthStar Inc., is lagging its peers.”
Silver Winner (tie): Alicia Wallace, The Cannabist.
“Trading veggies for herb: Produce grower planting cannabis in million-square-foot greenhouse”
Comment: “This is a detailed and engaging story about the conversion of a hydroponic tomato facility to grow a new crop: cannabis. Wallace also explores the growth and legalities of similar large-scale commercial facilities in the U.S.”
Bronze Winner: Roland Li, San Francisco Business Times.
“The Tenderloin awakens …”
Comment: ”This story addresses the influx of money and development in the Tenderloin, San Francisco’s largest area of low-income housing. The reporter chronicles the history and challenges of one of SF’s most fascinating neighborhoods.”
Honorable Mention Winner: Jon Banister, Bisnow.com.
“Exclusive: The DC brokerage diversity problem that no one’s talking about”
Comment: “This story shines a light on the lack of diversity in Washington, D.C. commercial real estate, both through anecdotes and data from the EEOC.”
Category 18: Best Real Estate Tweet Collection
Gold Winner: Carl Franzen, @carlfranzen, Inman News. “Apocalyptic images…”
Comment: “These tweets did a great job teasing breaking, enterprise and features stories on Inman’s website.”
Silver Winner: Ralph Bivins, @RNRBulletin. Realty News Report.
Comment: “These tweets were snappy and newsy, such as “Houston – Birthplace of Michael Dell, Compaq Computers and (maybe) Amazon HQ2.”
Bronze Winner: Katherine Feser, @kfeser, Houston Chronicle.
Comment: “These tweets kept Feser’s readership in the know on important local developments.”
Category 19: Best Short Blog Post – Real Estate NO AWARDS.
Category 20: Best Audio or Video Real Estate Report
Gold Winner: Shannon Behnken, WFLA-TV.
“8 On Your Side “Sinkhole Deceit.”
Comment: “This story centers on the arrests of five people, including the home sellers, agents and the mortgage broker who failed to disclose a sinkhole. The story was a follow-up to WFLA’s initial story that uncovered the fraud. Strong reporting and sourcing, clear writing and good use of video and graphics.”
Silver Winner: Nancy Sarnoff, Houston Chronicle, Looped In Podcast.
“Stories from Hurricane Harvey and Houston’s recovery, Part 1”
Comment: “Sarnoff takes the listener through her experiences and those of other Houstonians during Harvey. This is a well-produced podcast with natural sound, interviews and a host who was willing to open her life to her listeners.”
Bronze Winner: Florian Martin, Houston Public Media.
“From glut to flood: Houston apartments in high demand after Harvey.”
Comment: “Good spot news follow-up to Hurricane Harvey that is concise, well-produced, informative.”
Category 21: Best Breaking Real Estate News Story
Gold Winner: Prashant Gopal, Joe Light and Rob Urban, Bloomberg News.
“Pricey home markets from Greenwich to L.A. may take tax hit”
Comment: “Within hours of House Republicans releasing their first version of a U.S. tax overhaul, Bloomberg published this authoritative roundup of relevant data, expert insights and precise impact of tax bill details, clearly delineated. It immediately became one of the most-read stories on Bloomberg’s website and its terminal.”
Silver Winner (tie): Patrick Clark, Bloomberg News.
“Wine country disaster stretches already-tight housing market”
Comment: “Pulling together anecdotes, data and interviews with experts, local landlords and brokers, Clark documented the challenges the California wine country faced following devastating wild fires last October. Thoughtful, extensive reporting.”
Silver Winner (tie): Mark Mauer and Katherine Clarke, The Real Deal.
“HNA, partner to buy 245 Park Avenue for $2.2 billion: sources”
Comment: “Based on inside sources, Mauer and Clarke detail how overpaying for assets such as 245 Park Ave. resulted in massive debt problems for the buyer.”
Bronze Winner: Jon Anderson, CandysDirt.com.
“Fierce Friday night blaze destroys ‘Pink Wall’ Preston Place Condos”
Comment: “Anderson reported on an overnight fire, updating it on the publication’s website in real time, resulting in a fine, opportunistic photo story accompanied by explanatory text.”
Honorable Mention Winner: Patrick Kearns, Inman News.
“Net neutrality repeal has real estate really worried.”
Comment: “This story is a thorough exploration of the prospective damage that the end of net neutrality protections might do to real estate brokers, and perhaps to their customers as well.”
Category 22: Best Investigative Report or Series – Real Estate
Gold Winner (tie): Konrad Putzier, The Real Deal.
“Banks are far more exposed to risky real estate loans than you think – thanks to this loophole”
Comment: “A superb and surprising investigation that reveals a co-working company that promised hundreds of mom-and-pop investors high returns on shares of individual desks – yes, desks – inside a co-working space.”
Gold Winner (tie): David Kocieniewski, Caleb Melby and Hui-yong Yu, Bloomberg News.
“Unmasking the Kushner real estate empire”
Comment: “With intense public interest on Jared Kushner and his business, this superb investigation is both hugely informative and timely, especially the finding that the family actually owns just tiny fractions of the equity in many so-called Kushner properties.”
Silver Winner (tie): Catherine Reagor and Jessica Boehm, Arizona Republic.
“HOAs foreclose on record number of metro Phoenix homeowners”
Comment: “Great examples and strong numbers provide support for the alarming findings of this careful and wide-ranging investigation.”
Silver Winner (tie): Jacob Adelman, Philadelphia Inquirer.
“Failed Philadelphia projects”
Comment: “This was an excellent, timely expose of a developer with a questionable past who was in the midst of planning the city’s most ambitious residential development in recent memory.”
Bronze Winner (tie): Mike DeMasi, Albany Business Review.
“Albany city assessor’s ‘mistake’ could mean headaches for owners, developers”
Comment: “A nifty expose and then follow-through on the extensive impact of a generous property tax break given to commercial property owners who weren’t entitled to it. The mistake was initially uncovered by the reporter’s astute question.”
Bronze Winner (tie) : Jodie Fleischer, Rick Yarborough, Steven Jones, Jeffery Piper, WRC-TV.
“NEWS4 I-Team: Homes held hostage in D.C.”
Comment: “A well-documented and clearly explained misapplication of an intended tenant protection, making the viewer wonder: How could that happen?”
Honorable Mention Winner: Blanca Torres, San Francisco Business Times.
“$100 million Oakland empire built on EB-5 investor visas goes into decline.”
Comment: “A fascinating exploration of the “big ticket” EB-5 visa program, its flaws and failings, based largely on lawsuits. Good graphics help tell the story.”
Category 23: Best Series – Real Estate
Gold Winner: Bethany Erickson, CandysDirt.com.
“Houses of Cards: Families find anything but comfort in their brand-new, custom-built homes”
Comment: “This is an important expose of a crooked homebuilder in Texas, based on many lawsuits and multiple sources. Erickson points out the lack of licensing for contractors and builders in Texas that might have saved victims of this particular homebuilder.”
Silver Winner: Prashant Gopal, Bloomberg BusinessWeek and Bloomberg News.
Comment: “Gopal hit the ground running in areas ravaged by last year’s hurricanes, shedding light on the economics of a big storm’s aftermath. Gopal’s stories were based on many fine interviews with those who were victimized by the storms and those who profited from them.”
Bronze Winner: Jonathan O’Connell, Washington Post.
“Trump hotel puts a new twist on D.C.’s culture of influence”
Comment: “This is a fascinating exploration of the D.C. Trump hotel and the unique, if conflict-ridden, real estate proposition it presents. Great detail and deeply sourced.”
Honorable Mention Winner (tie): Camilla McLaughlin, freelance writer, Unique Homes.
Comment: “In an ambitious five-part series, McLaughlin addresses the dominant real estate trends in each region of the country. Thoroughly reported with a heavy emphasis on data.”
Honorable Mention Winner (tie): E. B. Solomont, The Real Deal.
“The battle blowing up the real estate listings industry”
Comment: “Solomont reported a trenchant, vital story for real estate agents about the showdown between listings platform StreetEasy and New York’s residential brokerages.”
Category 24: Best Blog – Real Estate NO AWARDS
Category 25: Best International Real Estate Story
Gold Winner: Tamsin McMahon and Tim Kiladze, Globe & Mail.
“The investors who bet on a real estate boom—and lost”
Comment: “Excellent reporting produced good quotes and data on a little-understood source of widespread fraud and other losses in our neighbor to the north, pointing out the continuing inadequacies of Canada’s fragmented securities regulation scheme.”
Silver Winner: Jack Sidders, Bloomberg News.
“Brexit Britain saddles biggest buyout firms with forlorn malls”
Comment: “A fine trend story about misplaced private–equity bets on distressed malls in the U.K. based on resourceful gathering of data and on-site visits, with U.S. implications.”
Bronze Winner: E.B. Solomont, Will Parker, Jill Noonan, and Damian Ghigliotty, The Real Deal.
“Billionaire backlash in New York.”
Comment: “Through exhaustive reporting, the reporters pieced together the likely impact of global political turmoil on NYC real estate. Good graphics help to tell the story.”
Honorable Mention Winner: Sharon Smyth, Bloomberg News.
“London’s hottest home markets see price cuts in sign peak’s near”
Comment: “This story tracks the boom/bust cycle of home prices in London. High–quality graphics and interactive maps by neighborhood nicely complement Smyth’s enterprise reporting.”
Category 26: Best Team Report – Real Estate
Gold Winner (tie): Konrad Putzier, Rich Bockmann, and Hiten Samtani, The Real Deal.
“How non-bank lenders, like commercial mortgage REITs, seemingly make real estate loans”
Comment: “The story focuses on how non-bank lenders, like commercial mortgage REITs, seemingly make real estate loans (some of them risky) – but in reality, it turns out that traditional banks finance part or all the loan. The story looks at whether this is skirting regulations put in after the financial crisis and whether banks have more exposure to this risk than previously thought. It’s well-written and not a topic we’ve seen addressed elsewhere.”
Gold Winner (tie): Phillip Molnar and Lori Weisberg, San Diego Union-Tribune.
“The hottest hotel in town is an apartment building”
Comment: “The reporters, with persistence, data-mining and shoe-leather reporting, substantiated the proliferation of Airbnb offerings in rental buildings that prohibit them. The writing is clear and engaging and a well-produced video and graphics are included in the package.”
Silver Winner: Prashant Gopal and Heather Perlberg, Bloomberg News.
“Robots may help build your next home and fill the labor gap”
Comment: “In a well-written and timely story, the reporters tackled the issue of robotics in modular housing construction. They visited factories that use robots, talked to workers, developers and housing experts and broke the news that Marriott was increasing its use of modular construction.”
Bronze Winner (tie): Katherine Clarke, E.B. Solomont, Jill Noonan, and Yoyl De La Rosa, The Real Deal.“Who earned and who got burned?”
Comment: “Highly contextualized, data-driven story about the luxury market that also engages the reader with anecdotes and easy-to-digest infographics.
Bronze Winner (tie): Colin W. Sargent and Willis Kuelthau, Portland Monthly Magazine.
Comment: “This beautifully curated and photographed story takes the reader on a tour of islands up the Maine coast that range from less than an acre to 90 acres and introduces us to some of the rugged and sometimes quirky individuals who inhabit them.”
Honorable Mention Winner: J. Scott Trubey, Nathan Harris, and Leon Stafford, Atlanta Journal- Constitution.
“Residents hope Mercedes-Benz Stadium aids nearby Atlanta neighborhood”
Comment: “This story addresses the elephant in the room: After so many new stadium projects have failed to fulfill their promises to revitalize surrounding neighborhoods, why will this one be any different?”
Category 27: Best Design, Home or Shelter Magazine
Gold Winner: Gail Ravgiala and Courtney Goodrich, Design New England.
Sept./Oct. 2017 issue
Comment: “The magazine sticks to its title: It is truly about design in New England, but this issue is about turning buildings and other structures that weren’t houses, such as an empty pool house, into houses. It’s a unique twist on what makes a home a home.”
Silver Winner: Kathleen Carlin-Russell, Mark Moffa, Unique Homes.
May 22, 2017 issue
Comment: “This issue looks at residential homes listed for $25 million or more. While not a category of homes that the vast majority of people can afford, it’s still a fun read to see how “the other side” lives. The list that shows what happened to homes that were listed in the previous year’s issue answers the question of what ultimately happens to a listing.”
Category 28: Best Residential Trade Magazine
Gold Winner: Matt Power, Green Builder magazine.
Sept.-Oct., 2017 issue
Comment: “A cleanly designed, straightforward and easy-to-read magazine about how houses can be realistically green without breaking the bank. One article, “Rapid payback,” takes a look at how some basic blocking and tackling can make a house a high-performing home.
Category 29: Best Commercial Real Estate Trade Magazine
Gold Winner: Stuart Elliott, Damian Ghigliotty, Jill Noonan, Danielle Balbi, The Real Deal.
Nov. 2017 issue
Comment: “Of all the magazines for this competition, we enjoyed this one the most because the stories do what we tell students to do when they write: put a face to the numbers. In this case, the magazine did it with a cover story of the divorce between real estate mogul Harry Macklowe and his then-wife Linda Macklowe. The story focused not only on the divorce but what it could mean to the property they own.”
Silver Winner: Matthew Valley, Seniors Housing Business.
April 2017 issue
Comment: “ The clean design of this magazine along with well-reported stories (including the story on large-scale mixed-using housing for seniors) takes what could be a dry topic and instead makes it informative.”
Bronze Winner: Randall Shearin, Katie Sloan, and Lynn Peisner, Shopping Center Business.
May 1, 2017 issue
Comment: “An informative publication with insightful stories on issues – financing, mixed-use and other – affecting shopping center owners, investors and developers.”
Category 30: Best Newsletter – Real Estate
Gold Winner: Jon Banister, Bisnow.
“Real Estate Bisnow Washington, DC” newsletter
Comment: “This colorful and engaging newsletter highlighted a well-reported story about how federal appeals court judges and some activists are stalling the development of sites that could add as many as 4,000 apartments to the Washington, D.C. real estate market even though neighborhood groups and local planners have approved the developments. The story includes a map that shows developments facing appeal.”
Silver Winner: Cameron Sperance, Bisnow.
“Real Estate Bisnow Boston” newsletter
Comment: “This newsletter highlighted a story about the LGBT community in commercial real estate, which the judges felt was timely given discussions on a broader societal basis – and a topic that we hadn’t seen much on before.”
Bronze Winner: Leigh Kamping-Carder, Wall Street Journal.
“WSJ Real Estate newsletter”
Comment: “A well-reported, well-written newsletter whose stories include the likelihood that Amazon’s second headquarters will be located near one of the many properties that Jeff Bezos owns.”
Honorable Mention Winner: Lauren Beale, freelance writer and Neal Leitereg, staff writer, Los Angeles Times.
“Hot Property” newsletter
Comment: “An interesting, easy-to-read roundup about celebrity real estate items. It’s a little like reading “People” magazine in the real estate section.”
Category 31: Best Newspaper Real Estate or Home Section
Gold Winner: Eileen Woods, Boston Globe.
“Address – Your Guide to Buying, Selling Living, Jun. 25, 2017 section”
Comment: “An interesting dive-into-the-details look at real estate in Boston. The articles are pertinent to many people who are looking to buy, sell or rent residential real estate. The Q&A in the edition submitted focuses on how to dispose of leftover paint – while one of the main articles looks at the discrimination that people with children face when trying to rent apartments.”
Silver Winner: Jeff Collins, Samantha Gowen, Marilyn Kalfus, and Jonathan Lansner, Hannah Madans, Orange County Register.
“Real Estate section, Feb. 12, 2017”
Comment: “Well-written real estate section focusing on Orange County, with stories that are written (save one story) by staff members instead of wire services. In addition to including the requisite median home sale prices and sales volume by ZIP code, the section also includes an easy-to-read and helpful “Orange County’s Real Estate Scene” that looks at the county’s median home price and five things that will move real estate markets.
Bronze Winner: Emily Fancher, San Francisco Business Times.
“San Francisco Structures”
Comment: “An in-depth look at what’s in development and what’s under construction in San Francisco’s real estate market. The story includes three maps that show what’s under construction, what’s approved and what’s planned in office and research and development, residential and hotel properties.”
Honorable Mention Winner: Lois Weiss, and Steve Cuozzo, and Emily Nonko, New York Post.
“Commercial Real Estate Special Edition”
Comment: “This special edition published by The New York Post is geared toward attendees of the Real Estate Board of New York’s annual dinner and the paper’s readers. The edition profiles the winners of the annual awards but also takes a look at how the hot market for hotels has extended into Williamsburg and why that’s the case.”
Category 32: Best Web Site – Real Estate
Gold Winner: Leigh Kamping-Carder, Wall Street Journal.
Comment: “The Journal’s website has pertinent, well-reported and well-written stories 24/7, no matter when someone views it. It’s updated not only with stories that may appear on the home page of the paper’s website, but also with stories that are written specifically for the real estate page of the website. Stories run from the serious to the lighthearted, such as readers voting for their house of the week.
Silver Winner: Teri Rogers, Nathan Tempey, and Jennifer White Karp, Brick Underground.
“Real estate, real life, real New York”
Comment: “Started by a former New York Times real estate reporter, Brick Underground has practical stories for people, such as how to make a lowball offer on an apartment. The site also has “How-To” guides for buying, selling and renting an apartment.”
Bronze Winner: Kathleen Hamilton, Perfect Partnership Inc.
“Do it yourself or not”
Comment: “A cleanly-designed website with practical, helpful information for homeowners who want to have an estimate of how much a project might cost if they do it themselves or if they hire a contractor. Links explaining how to do some projects are also included.”