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.

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

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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