The Big Apple: Years of inventory? Much more!

Eight to 17 years is an S&P projection for clearing shadow inventory in the five boroughs

It will take more than a decade to clear up all the shadow inventory in the residential real estate market in New York state, according to new report released by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.

That is more than three times longer than it will take the rest of the nation, a difference that the report largely attributes to the greater time it takes to foreclose on a property in New York.

According to the report, shadow inventory in Brooklyn will take the longest to unwind at more than 17 years. Bronx was close behind at 16.5 years, and Staten Island recorded 12 years. Manhattan fared the best, coming in at a little more than eight years.

Unlisted Upper East Side home finds buyer for. . . $47 million

A grand East Side townhouse that has been quietly shopped by its owners for three years is under contract for more than $47 million, further evidence that the top-end of the Manhattan market is soaring.

The 33-foot-wide townhouse on East 69th Street once belonged to Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Not 1 word about that wedding

Here’s your chance to catch up with news included to inform, enlighten and perhaps even entertain you. To read about The Big Apple, check out the other of today’s posts and look for Out and About early next week.

Actress joins others in firing bullets into landlord’s market-value rents

Her purchase in Greenwich Village proves that it pays to have friends

Fated forever to be “daughter of,” a lesser light sells her apartment for a pretty penny

Big Apple deserter and football Hall of Famer puts Dakota co-op on the market

Jeans heirs seek to sell $60 million summer place, and loud mouth takes a loss in Connecticut

Builders see little relief from sluggish market

No wonder: March sales Continue reading

The High Road: Seller scofflaws walk free

(Flickr photo by Jeremy Brooks)

Every contract that I have seen for an exclusive listing requires the seller to pay the commission if a ready, willing and able buyer makes an offer to purchase the property.  And there is case law supporting the obligation.

I’m prompted to write this post after chatting with another broker, “Sandy,” who talked about the prospect of being stiffed by property owners who, it seems, merely want to test the market by listing an apartment for sale or, more benignly, have a change of heart.

She mentioned the situation of a growing family Continue reading

Months are what separate buyers from sellers

Both sides lose when buyers and sellers dig in. (Flickr photo by toffehoff)

I have a theory about the failure these days of the natural tug-o’-war between buyers and sellers to result in successful negotiations.

In short, it is that many sellers set listing prices based on where they think — or hope — the market is today or at least within slingshot range of their aspirations.

Sellers just can’t come to terms with Continue reading

The High Road: There’s nothing like our banks

A savvy friend of mine who owns a real estate brokerage in Westchester County called me the other day to vent his feeling about TD Bank.

Also a lawyer, “Neal” had responded to a direct appeal that offered him an incredibly low rate for a Home Equity Line of Credit, or HELOC.  It indicated that his credit score was in the enviable 800s.  (“Neal” asked that I refrain from identifying him.)

All he had to do, the mailing proclaimed, was furnish documentation and wait for a response from TD’s loan headquarters in Mt. Laurel, N.J.

He received a response, all right: Continue reading

Out and About: I have this thing about kitchens

Walk this way, right into the kitchen of a pre-war building converted into co-ops. With the room's light bulb burned out and left that way for a showing, the photo quality leaves something to be desired.

Reading the headline, you may be expecting my usual rant about stainless steel, Sub-Zero refrigerators or granite countertops.  As you already must have guessed, you would be wrong.

Although I have written and long believed that every kitchen can be dated by its trends, my chief complaint centers on Continue reading

The Big Apple: Many brokers express optimism

Renting out your apartment entails pitfalls that can be avoided by knowing them.

Once you rent out your apartment, you create a “landlord-tenant” relationship with your renter.

That relationship is governed by a set of very specific (and technical) laws enacted by New York State and New York City, notes blogger and real estate lawyer Ron Gitter, who is a friend of mine.

Those laws tend to favor your tenant, but the “Landlord-Tenant Part” of the Civil Court of New York City does offer a judicial forum, albeit not necessarily a speedy one, for resolving issues that can’t be settled by mutual agreement between the parties.

Condo owners need to consider an array of business related issues before they enter into a lease.

Firm’s analysis has New York City surging ahead of most others in many categories a decade and a half from now

Cities are regaining their previous glory, according to MicKinsey Global Insight, with New York poised to lead the pack. Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Housing stats muddy waters

Here’s your chance to catch up with news included to inform, enlighten and perhaps even entertain you. To read about The Big Apple, check out the other of today’s posts and look for Out and About early next week.

Brooklyn Heights brownstone apartment that a late pugilist, mayoral candidate, author owned is on the market

Fashion designer with an elastic view of her Greenwich Village home stretches its boundaries

Co-op board twice rejects buyer hopeful of acquiring Astor apartment

Selling his duplex for 10 percent below ask suggests he may not be the greatest at everything

‘I wuz robbed,” TV detective might well cry

All-Star third basemen puts tricked-out loft on the market

Apartment at the Dakota caught author’s eye

Russian billionaire’s girlfriend learns that diamonds aren’t a girl’s only friend

Housing construction remains near historic lows, but Continue reading

The High Road: We make too damn much money

There, I said it: Broker compensation is indefensible.

An independent broker who is a friend of mine and I were having — how to put it? — a robust discussion that centered on commissions the other day (without violating anti-trust laws, heaven knows).

I ventured an opinion that I hold strongly and have put on the record previously, that percentage commissions make no sense to me.  So “Bill” asked me what was the origin of my “guilt,” adding that he had to support a family of six.  (Nor should the choices he has made bear on his occupation and income.)

My rejoinder was that guilt had nothing to do with my position.  Instead, said I, Continue reading

Buyers and sellers, don’t hold back information

Speak up, awreddy! (Flickr photo by gmcmullen)

Of course, folks have a desire to protect their privacy.  Even when visiting their physicians, some patients are foolishly leery of disclosing details that they view as embarrassing or otherwise just too personal.

It follows that many buyers and sellers also may be reluctant to reveal information about themselves, but it’s important to heed the line between what is essential for their brokers to know and Continue reading