Builders are becoming slightly more confident

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose one point in August to its highest level in more than a year, according to the latest reading of the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). But they’re a long way from ebullient.

Other signs that a housing recovery may already be under way also have  emerged recently. Continue reading

August rents dropped as much as 10% in a year

The residential rental market has continued its lackluster trend, according to the Manhattan monthly market report for August from the Real Estate Group.  While summer is typically a booming rental season, this year’s hottest months didn’t do much to help landlords. Continue reading

Mortgage rates are pretty much stable this week

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.14 percent for the week, up from last week’s  5.12 percent, Freddie Mac reported today.  Last year at this time,it was 6.40 percent.  Continue reading

That Whole Foods at Columbus and 97th is open!

The “soft” opening was yesterday, and–dammit!–I didn’t know. So I missed all the free food and jazz.  The official opening is tomorrow, a great development (pun intended) for the neighborhood.

When I lived in D.C. and a Whole Foods opened two blocks from my house in Logan Circle, the store was instrumental in tripling home values. (Of course, that was before the bubble deflated.)  The new store sure can’t hurt real estate prices in the broad neighborhood.

The new Whole Foods is an exception hereabouts in that it carries wine.  In D.C., the selection was appealing and well priced.

Hurry on over, you and other residents of both the Upper West Side and across Central Park on the Upper East Side.

Subscribe by Email

Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

Case-Shiller posts gain for second straight month

In a conference call, even Robert Shiller sounded a note of optimism before backpedaling.  At first saying that perhaps the bottom had arrived nationally, he then said that maybe it was too soon to know.

This latest report of the Case-Shiller indices showed an impressive 1.4 percent gain from May to June after an increase of 0.5 percent from April to May.  Eighteen of the 20 metro areas surveyed went up in prices, but bear in mind that apartments are excluded. Continue reading

If you’re relocating, you can be a star on HGTV

From HGTV, which as a new series called “Uprooted.” comes the news that the producers are seeking “high-energy” home buyers who are saying goodbye to their hometowns, totally picking-up and moving to a new place where everything is different.

“Whether they’re moving from the mountains to the ocean, a major city to the country, or making a move overseas, HGTV wants to hear your story.”

(The foregoing is in quotes because of the appalling grammar.)

In order to qualify: Continue reading

The Transit Authority is doing something right!

Above, artists rendition of the completed 96th Street station on the Upper West Side.  Below, progress up to about a month ago.

Above, artist's rendition of the completed 96th Street station on the Upper West Side. Below, relatively recent progress.

Since the 96th Street station is a block from my apartment on the Upper West Side, I have taken particular notice of the construction there.

When completed, the station will have the new headhouse seen above, complete with stairway and escalator entrances leading directly to the platform and new office and control space. Continue reading

Existing-home sales and optimism are on the rise

Sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops rose a record 7.2 percent in July over June levels, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The monthly sales gain was the largest since 1999.  Total sales were 5.0 percent above the same month one year earlier and represented the fourth consecutive monthly increase. The last time sales grew that consistently was in June 2004, and the last time sales were higher than a year earlier was November 2005. (My forthcoming biweekly e-newsletter will have much more on this news and both the U.S. and New York City housing markets.)

With predictions based on the Case-Shiller indices, Radar Logic (below) and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke himself, hopes are running high as evidenced by activity in the stock market this week. Continue reading

Radar Logic seems to see the bottom, but coyly

Home prices increased in June from the previous month in 23 out of the 25 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) tracked by the Radar Logic real estate data and analytics company, which released its results today.

Its 25-MSA Real Property Index (RPX) increased 3% on a month-over-month basis, one of the largest gains during the month of June since 2000.  Price gains accelerated in June in contrast to the historical pattern.

The increase in the 25-MSA Composite from February to June outpaced the gains over the same period during the previous three years, and the increase from April to June was the largest of any year since the beginning of Radar Logic’s data in 2000. Continue reading

The impossible happens for two lucky buyers

Was it only Aug. 4 that I first started showing apartments to a lovely couple who was referred to me by my former manager in Washington?  They will be in the Far East for two months starting in a couple of days.

The couple found an expansive apartment facing the Hudson River here.

The couple found an expansive apartment facing the Hudson River here.

In a miraculous turn of events, they found the apartment they wanted on our second day of looking, Aug. 5, and were approved by the board of their new co-op on Aug. 19.  Continue reading