The Big Apple: Is the housing market stabilizing?

THE TIMES SUGGESTS STABILITY IS RETURNING TO OUR HOUSING MARKET

New York City’s largest brokerage firms are reporting something of a rebound and, with a sense of relief, even a possible state of stability, according to the New York Times.

“It is too soon to tell about a return to normalcy,” said Noah Rosenblatt, an independent broker who publishes real estate data on his Web site, UrbanDigs, and has been analyzing recent property listings, new contracts and sales. “It looks to me that we hit the bottom” in the sales slump that drove home prices down, he said, and that “activity is starting to really pick up.”

The major brokerages agree that: prices, while low, are holding steady; inventory over all appears to be at a relatively healthy level; and sales have risen substantially over the last six months.

The exception was a slightly slower-than-normal summer, but it came after a slightly better bonus season earlier in the year, and there are now reports of a more typical post-Labor Day upswing.

The prospect of a return to seasons in real estate — a busy spring and fall, slow summer months and a sleepy market during the holidays, followed by bonus-driven sales from the start of the year to spring — is itself cause for some muted celebration, the Times opined.

FORECLOSURE ACTIVITY JUMPS IN THE CITY

The number of New York City residences entering the foreclosure process surged by nearly 38 percent in August, reversing a six-month trend and suggesting that the foreclosure cycle has yet to fully run its course in the Big Apple, reports RealtyTrac, according to the Real Deal.

Across the five boroughs, 1,437 homes were hit with lis pendens — the initial default notices that mark the beginning of the foreclosure process — last month. That’s up from 1,043 homes in July, though still below the level from August 2009, when 1,855 homes went into default.

WHAT IS A WHITE-GLOVE BUILDING ANYWAY?

White gloves (now largely extinct) may originally have been meant to give the impression that a building was uber clean and therefore “that those who live there are somehow immaculate,” theorizes author Michael Gross in an exploration by BrickUnderground.com of the subject.

“White glove” these days seems to connote a Queen Mary past with hot-and-cold running service.

Others cited in the blog say you can just feel it when you’re in such a building.  It’s kind of like feeling a techie actually knows what he or she is doing when you contact what is laughably called “customer service.”  Just sayin’.

LAWYER CONTENDS DUAL AGENCY IS ESPECIALLY TROUBLESOME

“I’m sure many brokers would disagree, particularly on economic grounds as the commission is not split with another broker in a “direct deal”, but I think that dual agency (where one person acts for both parties) is a horrible idea and should be avoided at all costs,” contends lawyer Ron Gitter.

“Particularly in the difficult real estate market we are experiencing today, each party needs the best advice possible, not a compromised version of the best advice.”

UNSCIENTIFIC ‘SURVEY’ DISCOVERS ALARMING ‘FACT’ THAT MANY OPEN HOUSE VISITORS AREN’T BUYERS

In a slow real estate market, attending open houseshas become something of a hobby for many New Yorkers, reports Crain’s.

It quoted Entitle Direct as learning that one out of every four people in a recent survey of 190 attendees at 10 open houses in Manhattan and Brooklyn confessed that they had no intention of buying anything. Who knew?

IF YOU’RE CHARGING FOR ROOM IN A CO-OP BUILDING, YOU MAY NEED THE BOARD’S APPROVAL

There are many “ifs” in whether you have to notify your co-op board that you’re taking in a roommate.

For example, if you’re not going to be residing in the building, you probably have to do so. If your roommate will pay for more than his or her share of expenses, that may be another thing.

The question may merely boil down to how much the roommate is paying–in which case, the board may have claim against you. Having a claim and winning something from it are, of course, two different things.

Whatever your situation, you would do well to

The gloves (now largely extinct) may originally have been meant to give the impression that the building was uber clean and therefore “that those who live there are somehow immaculate,” theorizes author Michael Gross, according to BrickUnderground.com, which explores the question.

Nowadays, however, “white glove” seems to connote a Queen Mary past with hot-and-cold running service.

How can you tell when you’re in a building?  Well, most of those who weigh in say you just know, it feels that way.  It’s kind of like discerning that the techie on the other end of what usually is known as customer service, most often a laughable term in my humble opinion, actually can help you.

EMPLOYMENT IN FINANCE SECTOR DROPS IN STATE BUT RISES IN THE CITY

Employment at financial-services firms in New York state fell by 4,400 positions in August from a year ago, the Wall Street Journal reports, but it rose slightly in New York City; in both regions, employment in investment banking and brokerages again experienced steep declines.

A total of 673,700 professionals in the financial-activities sector at the end of August, down from 678,100 a year ago, according to data from the New York State Department of Labor.

Within New York City, the numbers for overall financial-activities employment were healthier, as the sector reported 433,200 professionals, up 500 jobs from a year ago. The city’s higher numbers were boosted by gains in real estate.

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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

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

Malcolm@ServiceYouCanTrust.com
Web site

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