Weekly Roundup: Wily boards, condo prices, housing starts, FICO scores, pocket listings, ghosts, recovery consensus and much more

Those co-op boards are at it again — and again – even against their own

Feng shui consultant busy in Manhattan

Owners of highest-end apartments pay far smaller percentage of units’ sales value in taxes than others do

New condos post 16.7 percent price rise over a year ago

For first time, a New York neighborhood climbs to top of Forbes list of most expensive zip codes

Brooklyn, Queens inventory lowest in four years, but luxury market in those boroughs relatively healthy

Commercial real estate sector poised for 2013 recovery, moving up to second-best city for investment

Twilight co-star purchases Los Feliz house for Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Buyer timing, tight inventory, rise in home equity, foreclosure nightmare, bedroom makeover, status of recovery. . . more

Digitized offering plans catch on with developers

Bloomberg News: Now best time in almost six years to buy in Manhattan

Daily News provides outlook for sales, rental markets throughout city

Appeals court rules against return of $300,000 deposit to buyer who intentionally flunked co-op board interview

Homeowners entitled to property-tax exemptions may see temporary increases until backlog cleared

When it comes to taxes, old shelters are the bomb

Speak softly and carry a big tip

Four Brooklyn zips on list showing biggest increases in white residents in U.S.

French fashion designer sells Chelsea penthouse for $7.89 million

Hannah’s ‘mom’ buys Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Rents peak, rates hit new low

Q4 prices for homes in the outer boroughs held up better than they did in Manhattan

Of 6 neighborhoods celebrated by the Historic District Council, 1 is in Manhattan

Foreclosure filings grew 28 percent from 2010 to 2011, but foreclosures dropped to 7-year low

State investigating whether big banks fraudulently steer borrowers to expensive insurance

Reaching median of $3,145 monthly, rents in Q4 up to 2006 level

Consumers should weigh impact of maintenance fees and common charges

Tiger’s former wife bugged by $12 million mansion, so it’s gone

He bonds with $11.5 million SoHo penthouse

Who wants to be a m– mansion seller?

Cooper purchases $1.7 million property next door to his Hamptons retreat

Rosy index of ‘improving’ markets somehow posts Continue reading

Many experts are hovering around a crystal ball

When it comes to predicting the direction of the housing market, there is no shortage of opinions.  Below you’ll find excerpts from “The Soothsayers” section of my forthcoming e-newsletter,  Realty Digest, which I write every two weeks.  My next newsletter will be issued around noon on Friday, Nov. 4.

Take your pick from the excerpts, draw your own conclusions and forward your comments to this blog:

Thanks to "spratmackrel" for this image

  • Housing starts will increase by 36 percent next year and the housing sector will contribute to economic growth for the first time since 2005, according to the November survey by the National Association of Business Economics.
  • First American CoreLogic predicts continued declines in most markets, albeit at a slowing rate, for the next six months, followed by a rebound in the spring.
  • Harvard economist Edward Glaeser doesn’t foresee property values rising to previous levels even in attractive locales. “The harsh reality is that real estate prices that go up come down. I’ve found that for every real $1 increase in local market prices over a five-year period, prices go down 32¢ over the following five years,” Glaeser says. Continue reading

Harvard housing report sees ‘eventual’ recovery

A sustained recovery for housing still faces an uphill climb, says Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies in its annual report released yesterday.  To compare Harvard’s analysis with a variety of others, check out my forthcoming newsletter Friday afternoon.
“Although there are some signs of improvement or at least steadiness in new construction and sales, housing starts stand near 60-plus year lows, and any life in home sales is coming from distressed foreclosure sales, temporary first-time buyer tax credits and low interest rates that moved higher in recent weeks.” notes Center Director Nicolas P. Retsinas.  Adds Executive Director Eric S. Belsky: “The best that can be said of the market is that house price corrections and steep cuts in housing production are creating the conditions that will lead to an eventual recovery.  For now, markets remain under considerable stress.”
harvard

The Harvard University campus.

Meanwhile, the number and share of households spending more than half their incomes on housing continues to remain at elevated levels. Continue reading