The Big Apple: Don’t try to remember September

BONUS FEVER AND DISCOUNTS HAVE THE CITY’S HOUSING MARKET IN THEIR GRIP

Since the economy melted down, bonuses have been up, down and spinning all around. Anticipation has had brokerages and developers panting one minute and totally depressed the next.

While the bonuses have had brokers and developers abuzz, another obsession has been rippling through the real estate world over the last week: discounts.

THOSE SPIFFY NEW DEVELOPMENTS LOOK GREAT, BUT BUYERS NEED TO GIVE THEM MORE THAN A ONCE-OVER

Every freshly minted building has problems that can range from buckling floors to cooling systems that sound like a Fresh Direct truck parked outside your window to leaky roofs that can cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair, observes Brick Underground.

If you are in the market to buy and this is news to you or you and your neighbors are just starting to compare punch lists, you may want to get educated on the things that can go wrong in new or converted condominiums. Defects tend to fall into seven categories, says a professional engineer.

OLD NEWS: CONDO SALES PLUNGE FROM AUGUST TO SEPTEMBER

Manhattan condominium sales fell 23.1 percent in September from August, a reversal that stoked fears the city’s real-estate market rebound is flattening out, says the Wall Street Journal, ignoring an upswing in October and November.

Condo prices rose 0.2 percent in September from August to an average of $1,042 per square foot, according to real-estate data company Radar Logic.

“Typically, prices follow sales activity,” says Quinn Eddins, director of research at Radar Logic. “We saw sales decline by a quarter and prices flatten out. If the trend continues, we expect to see prices start going down next month.”

The September decline was the largest drop for the month recorded since Radar Logic began keeping track in 2001.

Since September 2009, condo prices have increased by 7.8 percent, but Eddins says the gains are somewhat misleading since prices were near their lowest levels since 2005 at the time.

MANY MUNICIPALITIES WILL NOT HAVE PROPERTY-TAX RELIEF ANY TIME SOON

While Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo has said he wants to cap property-tax increases at 2 percent a year, some local officials in New York state are seeking to boost rates before he even gets to Albany—in part to keep up with the rising cost of government workers’ pensions, officials say.

The push comes as many towns, cities and counties are putting together budgets for next year.

LOOK FOR MOLD ESPECIALLY IN THESE THREE AREAS

Although both new and old apartments are at risk, water-damage and mold remediator Jeff Gross tells BrickUnderground.com that mold problems are increasingly cropping up in new-construction apartments.

Sealed up more tightly, “they don’t breathe as much, and if there is some kind of leak or water damage, mold can grow,” says Gross, a senior vice president at Maxon’s Restorations, a Manhattan-based property damage restoration company.

He provides the lowdown on the top three mold-producing scenarios in new and old New York City apartments, as well as the ballpark costs for dealing with each.

PROPOSAL MOVES FORWARD TO DESIGNATE WEST END AVENUE AS A HISTORIC DISTRICT

A proposed Upper West Side historic district expansion, championed by local groups, has caused a stir in the real estate industry.

The Real Estate Board of New York has vocally opposed the designations, which would expand two nearby districts and extend landmarks protection for 790 additional buildings. The new district would span W. 70th St. and W. 109th St. along West End Ave., between Broadway and Riverside Drive.

Despite substantial local support from residents and elected officials for the district, REBNY has said that such an act would be an improper use of landmarks legislation and that the buildings along West End Avenue do not merit protection.

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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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