Weekly Roundup: Buyer woes, singer’s many purchases, U.S. price gains, mortgage brokers’ profits, soulful kitchens, millennials’ optimism

Manhattan a tale of two markets

Real Estate Brokers Predict a Tough Time for Buyers

Buyers ask, brokers try to answer

Tight inventory leads buyers to risk their down payments

Popular keywords enable listing agents to sell fast

Booming Hamptons market pushes renters east

And Fire Island fights Sandy’s effects on housing market as summer approaches

For trophy properties, $100 million is the new $50 million

Short supply of Brooklyn brownstones, leads to whopping price tags as more Manhattanites switch boroughs

For fixer-uppers, go east

City official says two, three more micro-unit developments in the offing

Sanitation Department schedules disposal events for hazardous products in five boroughs

Social media bigwig accused of trashing apartment in Chelsea and purchases big Greenwich Village loft for $8.15 million

Noted artist lists for $3.13 million Fort Greene townhouse purchased for nearly $2 million less in 2007 and renovated

Network TV anchor Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Apartment bargains, price gains, sinking supply, mixed prognostications

Residential sales market attains highest peak in total dollars citywide since 2008 financial crisis, sales trail 2010

When it comes to the middle class, Manhattan naturally has one of its own

Winning design for micro-apartments allows for 55 250-to-370-sf modular units in Kips Bay

An UWS townhouse is listed for. . . $50 million

Closed sales in the Bronx slide to five-year low in 2012 as median inches up to $288,990

Major architecture firms expect 10-20 percent staff growth

First-floor apartment one of eight ways to get more space for less money

Zillow calculates 8.3 percent rise in home values

It is possible to avoid double taxation when refinancing in the city

If you can’t be too rich or thin, apparently you can have too much house

Average home price in the Hamptons sets record with surge of luxury sales

Sold price of Gramercy condop trimmed 67 percent from price that fashion designer had paid

Singer’s original $18 million asking price for Tribeca penthouse off key

It’s selling days Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Most important news since before the holidays, including strong NYC quarterly and U.S. monthly housing reports

Sales surge in fourth quarter as inventory shrinks to a 12-year low

Rental market appears to be shifting into slower gear

What makes one apartment worth more than another?

Surprise! Times says co-op approval process is ‘formidable’

Prices shoot up in gentrified Brooklyn

Permits to build new developments growing again, but apartment supply won’t meet demand

Her boots were made for speeding

And his, made for dancing, waltz into L.A. condo

Broadcaster trades UWS strollers for trends by purchasing $1.84 million penthouse off the island

Shadow inventory of existing homes drops 12 percent during last year

Number of signed contracts attains Continue reading

The Big Apple: CPW sale turns tidy profit. More!

She who hesitates hardly is lost

Mildred Furiya bought her townhouse in Brooklyn for $16,000 in 1966 with a cash gift from her father. Now she plans to list the dwelling for approximately $1.895 million.

A sale at that price would represent an 11,744 percent increase over 45 years — or an annual return of about 11 percent, says the New York Times.

Numbers cruncher says he’s bullish on Manhattan

Manhattan just doesn’t behave like the rest of the country Continue reading

Reported research results rarely tell a true story

Way back in the dark ages, when I was in graduate school getting a master’s in communication, the subject of opinion research so interested me that I developed and conducted a survey for my master’s project.

The result of that intense effort has been my enduring interest and unmitigated skepticism about polls and other studies that are disseminated by the news media.

Although the news media have grown more sophisticated, especially about political polls, I find myself to be continually astonished by how much evidently shoddy research finds validation on the Internet, in newspapers and magazines, and on radio and television.

Regular readers no doubt recall my recurring rants about research on the nation’s housing market, none of which is entirely — or, for that matter — even mostly accurate. Case-Shiller is my favorite target, a great example being in Sunday’s New York Times, when Shiller cited his research based on 407 and 296 respondents in different years as if they represented a national sample of home buyers.  Impossible!

For that matter, how could 407 and 296 responses each reflect national sentiment?  If 296 is sufficient, why poll 407?  Conversely– you get the idea.

If only Shiller were alone.  But none of the others — not Trulia, not Zillow, not RealtyTrac, not CoreLogic, not Radar logic, not the federal government, not one — reveals the true story.

Findings may be out of date, Continue reading

The Big Apple: Will there really be a condo shortage?

IF YOU CAN’T STAND THE HEAT IN YOUR APARTMENT, YOU CAN DO MORE THAN WHINE ABOUT IT

Even when you turn off your radiators, your apartment is a miserable sweatbox.

Meantime, some of your neighbors are complaining that they’re not getting enough heat, so cranking down the basement boiler fueling your inferno isn’t the answer. But BrickUnderground.com helpfully supplies answers to the seasonal curse of overheated co-ops and condos.

HUGE DEVELOPMENT ON COLUMBUS AVENUE ENJOYS RESOUNDING SUCCESS

Columbus Square boasts 500,000 square feet of retail space, including a Whole Foods, Modell’s and a TJ Maxx, 710 rental apartments with elevated landscaped gardens, two private schools and a $650 million price tag.

That’s a lot of units to fill at premium prices, but demand has been strong so far. The first two buildings, where one-bedrooms start Continue reading

The Big Apple: Luxury sales surge along with wages

COLUMNIST RAILS AGAINST HOUSING DISCRIMINATION BY RACE

Mayor Bloomberg’s Commission on Human Rights is a “nearly invisible joke,” contends Errol Louis in the New York Daily News. Says he:

The agency’s 2009 annual report included a single paragraph on housing discrimination with no information on Continue reading

The Big Apple: Sales spiked last spring, then sagged


LANDLORD SUES BROKER, ALLEGING THAT HIS FIRM DIDN’T LOOK OUT FOR HIS BEST INTERESTS

William Cornwell, a retired advertising art director, hired a brokerage firm to a rent out a studio in his West Village townhouse. Then a broker at the firm made him a proposition he found he couldn’t refuse: Why not rent it to me instead?

The result was that Cornwell, 74, signed two handwritten leases on two studios in his Greek revival townhouse, with the agent and the agent’s father, for below market rate and for terms of up to 20 years.

Now Cornwell is in court battling the broker and his firm, charging the leases violated the obligation under state law that a broker represent a client’s interests honestly, fairly and in good faith.  In addition, the state is now investigating the transactions.

IF YOU USE A COMMON CLOTHES DRYER AND ARE PARANOID ABOUT BEDBUGS, Continue reading

The Big Apple: Q3 reports suggest stabilization

PRICES ARE UP AND SALES ACTIVITY IS DOWN IN THIRD QUARTER

After two years of unpredictable sales trends, the Manhattan real estate market seems to have settled into a more typical and seasonal pattern, with prices rising slightly and sales volume dipping in the recent summer months, according to third-quarter market reports, says the New York Times.

Prices increased for the fifth straight quarter, with the average sales price hovering around $1.43 million and the median price around $910,000, according to data provided by the city’s four largest brokerage firms. But prices are still well below the market’s height a couple of years ago, when the average was higher than $1.7 million and the median was close to $1 million.

Inventory has declined, reports the Real Deal, and the Wall Street Journal says Manhattan is a star in the apartment market.

But my post (below) on Wednesday questions whether September has evolved into a healthier market.

FIVE NEW YORK NEIGHBORHOODS ARE AMONG NATION’S MOST COSTLY

The West Village’s 10014 Continue reading

Up 18% in a year, foreclosures fall 8% in a month

RealtyTrac reports that there were 306,627 default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions involving U.S. properties during November, a decrease of nearly 8 percent from October but still up 18 percent from November 2008.

The report also shows one in every 417 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in November. Continue reading