The Big Apple: Citywide stats improve. . . a bit

VOWs prove useful to buyers searching for new homes

Brokerage firms are getting into the digital game themselves, creating a “virtual office Web site” or VOW.

These are sites operated by brokers that enable clients to search for most of the available properties in a particular market, not just the firm’s exclusive listings, according to the New York Times.

While brokers have mixed feelings about whether these sites are worth the investment, the emergence of the VOW is yet another sign that once tightly guarded listing information has finally been set free in New York.

Dollar value of citywide sales climbs from Q1 to Q2 as seasons change, but sales activity slips 4 percent below one year earlier

The total dollar value of New York City’s residential sales transactions jumped 13 percent in the second quarter of 2011 to Continue reading

The Big Apple: Schools, smoke, slides and more

If you can’t beat them, you don’t have to let bedbugs join you

Adam Greenberg, president of USBedBugs.com, one of the country’s largest online retailers of anti-bedbug gear, tells BrickUnderground.com that, in comparison with the rest of the nation, New Yorkers are “ahead of the curve” on knowing what to do about bedbugs.  Says he:

“Therefore, New Yorkers are both more hands-on in the products they buy for monitoring and treatment of bedbugs and also more proactive at purchasing prevention items like mattress encasements and travel protectors.”

Because almost everyone knows someone who has experienced bedbugs by now, they know the value of the prevention items, Greenberg explains.

Topping his list of 10 preventative items purchased are luggage and clothing encasements–that is, containers for containers.  For the other nine, visit BrickUnderground.

New Web site points to best public schools using your maximum price to purchase or rent

SchoolFisher.com is for New Yorkers “who want Continue reading

The Big Apple: Look for 1,200 new condos this year

NEWSPAPER SAYS SALE OF FORMER VILLAGE NURSING HOME SIGNALS MARKET RECOVERY

In 2007, before the financial world turned upside down, a condominium developer signed a contract to pay more than $33 million for a former assisted living facility in the heart of the West Village.

More than three years later, the developer, FLAnk, has closed on the purchase of the building at Hudson and West 12th streets. FLAnk paid just a few million dollars short the full pre-crash price: $33.3 million.

The deal is the latest sign that the city’s residential development engine is beginning to crank up again, opines the Wall Street Journal.

SITE OFFERS EXPANDED PROPERTY SEARCHES FOR BUYERS

Pulling data from the Real Estate Board of New York’s RealPlus database–which collects listings information from brokerages– Continue reading

The Big Apple: Median price grew most here

My coverage of New York City news likely will be sporadic over the next couple of weeks, but please do check here to catch up with important developments or perhaps my idle musings.

BANKS STRUGGLE TO SEIZE HOMES, MORE SO IN NEW YORK THAN ANYWHERE ELSE

It takes longer to foreclose on homes in New York than in any other state—and it’s getting longer every month.

Two years ago, the state began requiring that banks and borrowers attend settlement conferences before a foreclosure takes place.

While the conferences are popular with borrowers and have succeeded in helping some families keep their homes, banks have been reluctant to participate. That, and recent revelations that some lenders have improperly submitted foreclosure documents, has prompted judges to take a harsher stance with lenders.

CUOMO IS UNRELENTING ON PLEDGE TO CAP PROPERTY TAXES

Gov.-elect Andrew M. Cuomo is making clear to legislative leaders that one of his priorities is to cap local property taxes, a notion that would have large consequences statewide for homeowners and school districts.

Take my refrigerator, please, as the eighth item below suggests. No, not YOU! (Flickr photo by Tammy Green)

Cuomo is proposing a limit on the total amount of property tax dollars that can be collected annually by a school district, municipality or special district by capping the increase in the local tax levy at 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less, according to his campaign literature.  Schools traditionally receive the largest share of property taxes.

A cap would not directly affect New York City, where property taxes are relatively low because of revenue from the city’s personal income tax and where the schools are financed through the general city budget. But outside the city, New York is among the most heavily taxed states in the country.

D’YA THINK THIS NOMAD MIGHT HAVE A BOOK OR MOVIE DEAL IN THE BACK OF HIS MIND OR HIGHEST OF HIS HOPES?

Ed Casabian’s nomadic existence Continue reading

Experts weigh in on ‘why’ of numbers, but how?

Jonathan Miller of the Miller-Samuel appraisal firm released the latest statistics in his report for Prudential Douglas Elliman on Friday.

So did Greg Heym from Halstead.  And Pamela Liebman from Corcoran.

Housing price and sales statistics are regularly released by a number of others, including Case-Shiller, Radar Logic, the National Association of Realtors, PropertyShark.com and CoreLogic.

Invariably, the experts also explain the numbers.  My advice is not to put an excessive amount of stock in what they say, Continue reading

The Big Apple Sept. 10

WHILE THE U.S.  SUFFERED IN Q2, MANHATTAN HOUSING IMPROVED

After disturbing Q2 reports were released last month on the U.S. housing market (in “Weekly Roundup” below), the Wall Street Journal’s Josh Barbanel armed himself with statistics to show that the situation in Manhattan wasn’t so bad. Sales of apartments in Manhattan appear to have strengthened this summer, with median prices up, inventory down and an increase in the number of apartment closings, he reported.

“The figures suggest that the Manhattan market, buoyed by a resumption of hiring and a healthy Wall Street bonus season ahead, has so far escaped much of the distress across the country,” Barbanel wrote.  He noted that July’s median home sale price in Manhattan was $900,000 in comparison with $182,600 nationwide.

In a subsequent piece, 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