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 around $3,500-a-month, are fully leased.

A third building that recently opened for business was 20 percent leased after the first 10 days, the building’s management says. The final two residential towers expect to begin leasing in the next two months.

LOWER EAST SIDE RENTAL BUILDING ENFORCES MODEST PROPOSAL THAT DEMANDS THE UNKINDEST CUT

Archie Gottesman is a pet lover and the chairwoman of Animal Haven, a shelter for cats and dogs. She spends her spare time looking for homes for pets, to save them from being euthanized.

She is also the chief executive of Edison Properties, which owns Manhattan Mini-Storage, a chain of parking garages, and a three-year-old rental building on the Lower East Side called the Ludlow. She has used her position to change a tiny piece of the world by making it a policy that all new renters at the Ludlow have their cats and dogs spayed or neutered before moving in.

“We just wanted to emphasize the pet overpopulation problem,” Gottesman tells the New York Times.

APPRAISAL EXECUTIVE QUESTIONS ARTICLE FORECASTING CONDO SHORTAGE

Jonathan Miller of the Miller Samuel appraisal firm says a drop in permits doesn’t foretell the construction of two few condos in the near future as reported in the New York Times and cited here last week.

“. . . [P]ermits don’t necessarily correlate with what gets built,” Miller writes in his blog.  “I also don’t see us in this predicament forever. Actually the permit filing drop is the much needed visual for the credit crunch. Its not a sign of shortage, its a sign of surplus.

“Why file an application for a building permit if commercial lenders aren’t financing new condo development in any meaningful numbers? Why? Because lenders see shadow inventory (they are holding it); they see high unemployment (even though NYC is improving); they see individual buyers unable to get financing in new development in large numbers to create the demand needed to absorb yet new condo construction.

“As I said before–if it were so obvious that prices would spike in 12 months and there would be a chronic housing shortage of new development, don’t you think permits would explode right now?”

LIVE IT UP, IF YOU DARE

For views, bragging rights, resale values and (sometimes) privacy, living way up in a 30-, 50-, or 60-story New York City high rise is hard to beat. But, notes BrickUnderground.com, it also comes with an eclectic set of challenges.

Unexpected complications that can crop up in extreme vertical living range from spotty cellphone reception to queasy moments when the wind blows.

NOVEMBER PRICES WERE RELATIVELY FLAT IN THIS METRO AREA, CASE-SHILLER REPORTS

New York City-area home prices remained relatively flat in November, according to the latest Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report, which is irrelevant to Manhattanites.

The New York metropolitan region was off 1.7 percent from the same month a year earlier and 1 percent from October 2010.

The report has received criticism from Manhattan market experts, who point out that it doesn’t cover apartments and encompasses counties from Pennsylvania to Long Island.

SHOULD YOU SEEK TO BUY IN A SMALL BUILDING, KNOW LAWYER RON GITTER’S FIVE AREAS OF CONCERN

Everyone knows that size matters in New York, particularly when it comes to co-ops and condos.

But sometimes the notion of less bureaucracy and fewer neighbors can be very attractive. That being said, small co-ops and condos have their own features that should carefully be considered when contemplating a purchase in a small building.

INFAMY CAN BE YOURS IF YOUR APARTMENT IS OVERRUN WITH MICE, RATS, ROACHES, BEDBUGS OR–YES–RACCOONS

A producer at Optomomen Productions e-mailed the Bowery Boogie blog in connection a new documentary series to be aired on an unidentified “prominent nonfiction TV network.”

Because of a focus on exterminators in New York City, the producers are seeking potential cases of pest infestation–from roaches to raccoons–throughout the city. The e-mail promises to set you up with an accredited local pest control company “FOR FREE” and follow the process of making your home or business pest-free.

Set your DVRs NOW!

BOARD POLITICS CAN BE BAD, VERY BAD, AS THIS TRUE STORY DEMONSTRATES

Bill Greenspan acknowledges but doesn’t like to talk about the events of January 2009, when he and a handful of fellow shareholders crippled the co-op board of their E. 96th St. building, according to Habitat magazine.

He and a handful of like-minded neighbors formed a blockade almost a year ago that stopped a million-dollar renovation in its tracks and ultimately led to the overturning of the board.

His opposite number, board treasurer Lars Neubohn, called the stormy events a “culture clash” between a relatively new guard that wanted to see services in the building commensurate with the price paid for apartments and an old guard that wanted things to stay the same.

“It was crazy,” says Neubohn. “It [was] just a mess.”

AREA FORECLOSURES SLIP 1 PERCENT FROM ONE YEAR AGO

Foreclosure activity in the New York City metro region dropped 5 percent in 2010 in comparison with the previous year, according to RealtyTrac.

The New York City area–which includes Northern New Jersey, Long Island Westchester County and a Pennsylvania county–had 79,849 properties receiving a foreclosure filing, approximately 1.08 percent of all properties. That rate is 1.83 percent higher than the number of filings in 2008.

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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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