Weekly Roundup: Manhattan sales pace up, condo prices rise, inventory is tight, rates hit another new low, consensus on recovery is developing

Townhouse where Weather Underground dwelling was destroyed in bomb explosion is listed for $10.9 million

Mystery buyer pays $90 million for Midtown penthouse at One57, breaking price record for an NYC condo

Entering a tall-buildings race, New York could have 6 of the 10 tallest buildings in the country by 2016

Majority of respondents prefer smoke-free living in the city

Madison Square’s commercial identity has in places ceded to residential character in recent years

Developers now show reluctance to offer incentives to purchasers of condos

Asking prices, sales zoom in Continue reading

Are lawyers kicking ‘em while they’re down?

Flickr photo by Ed Schipul

Admittedly, homeowners in foreclosure face a Hobson’s choice.  Do they choose fight or flight?

In the case of a number of Florida homeowners, they are opting for fight.  At the same time, they are making what some would perceive as a pact with the devil: Lawyers who literally have them mortgage their future.

A front -page article in Sunday’s New York Times documents how lawyers who are hired by desperate homeowners lacking cash agree to represent them only if their compensation is guaranteed by a second mortgage.

What?

One expert in contingency fees allowed that the practice made him queasy.  It makes me queasy, too, close to nauseated.

The scheme sounds like exploitation.

At the same time, Continue reading

Foreclosed co-op on the UWS could be a bargain

The kitchen of Apt. C, 107 W. 106th St., has been recently renovated.

An Upper West Side one-bedroom co-op that has been in the foreclosure process for months is headed for the auction block on Aug. 18.

According to an 86-week-old listing, Apartment C at 107 W. 106th St. contains 550 square feet and has been totally renovated.  Its latest asking price, since July 10, is $325,000.

The listing puts monthly maintenance at $565, but the lender’s lawyer, Ronald S. Kahn, says it is $603, which is likely the correct amount.  Moreover, Kahn reports that a total of $9,165 is owed for maintenance, late fees, assessment and legal fees as of Aug. 1. Continue reading

Luxury condo heads to foreclosure auction

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Graphic from curbed.com showing views from 121 W. 19th St. condo.

Listed in January 2007 for $3.95 million, an unsold penthouse at 121 W. 19th St. faces a foreclosure sale on July 28, according to curbed.com and propertyshark.com.

The condo is either 1,906 square feet (propertyshark) or 2,071 (the old listing for PH-E).  With $209,298 of assessed value and a lien of $3,237,096, the loft was last listed for $3.7 million until it was taken of the market in March of last year. Continue reading

A 1BR UES co-op goes on the block July 26

240 E. 76th St. in Manhattan

Advertised as a one-bedroom, one-bath 500-sf co-op, apartment No. 5A at 240 E. 76th St. is headed for a foreclosure auction on Monday, July 26 with a $50,000 minimum bid.

But photographs of the unit on the Williams & Williams auction site suggest that it’s really a studio, at least in Manhattan nomenclature, with monthly maintenance of $725.

The "one-bedroom" unit is to be auctioned subject to owner's approval.

This is not an absolute auction, so the winning bid is subject to the owner’s approval.  That would be the lender. Other requirements: Continue reading

7 co-ops, 11 homes to be auctioned off March 9

The office of the Queens County Public Administrator has scheduled the auction of seven co-ops with starting bids ranging between $56,000 and $176,000.

Google satellite view of the Malba, Queens home to be sold. Click to expand and, below, see a photo of the two-story brick house with garage.

Also on the block March 9 at 11 a.m. will be 10 single-family homes and a condo (from what I can tell) with bids starting between $162,000 to $950,000.  The high upset price is for a place at 141-42 11th Ave., Malba.

And if you’d like to buy a big bunch of properties all at once, there’s a significant auction of a foreclosed East Harlem complex scheduled for March 11 at 11 a.m.

For risk-takers, the co-ops are being sold subject to the approval of the buildings’ board of directors. The units are: Continue reading