Weekly Roundup: U.S. stats sadden economists, Big Apple market seems stable, so much more!

Sales of luxury apartments buoy Manhattan market, suggesting Q3 reports will document ‘remarkable stability’

Before suing your co-op, it pays to get the facts right

Rents edge up again this month

But at least now you can find no-fee apartments on a cool map

Or check out a cool statistical infographic on our ‘city of renters’

Unless you have $1,600 to spare, think twice about renting out your apartment for less than a month

Seven tips for finding a great general contractor merit a look

Downtown Manhattan loft market is up a bit over 2007, the strongest full year in Manhattan residential real estate history, says broker/blogger Sandy Mattingly

In fraught market, buyers are still buying. . . with frayed nerves

The verdict is in: Only the most innocent buyers would fail to hire a lawyer for their purchase of property

Long Island mansion finally sells after high-profile owner hacks price

If he really collects 50% more than he paid in 2009 for his newly listed condo, this guy will be the stuff of legends

Still out of England, comedian Continue reading

Will someone please explain my Con Ed bill?

Plea on Con Ed's site

Consolidated Edison is a profit-making business.

It paid $2.38 in cash dividends per share last year and declared a 60-cent per share quarterly dividend two weeks ago.

Those dividends resulted from $13 billion in annual revenues and $36 billion in assets.  Yesterday, Con Ed closed at $56.11, pretty close to its 12-month high approaching $57.

I got to wondering about such things after Continue reading

Co-ops in Manhattan auction draw limp bidding

The impossibly ornate Surrogate's Courthouse, where the auction was held.

Public Administrator Ethel J. Griffin’s poorly attended estate auction of nine apartments Tuesday produced sales totaling only $2.374 million.

Five of the properties ranging in location from Chinatown to Washington Heights failed to attract even one bidder.  A co-op on West End Avenue in Lincoln Towers sold to a sole bidder for its minimum of $300,000.

There were just two bidders for Continue reading

Here’s one big reason U.S. homes aren’t moving

I can think of many explanations for the stagnation of the U.S. housing market.

Among those that come to mind are consumer confidence, tight credit, the nation’s and world’s economies, and unemployment.

But a survey released by HomeGain that I recently came across may well rank near the top.  I can’t imagine a more graphic illustration of our housing woes than the disconnect that the third-quarter survey disclosed between what sellers and buyers view as the value of homes.

Although I learned only that more than 500 real estate agents and brokers in addition to 2,500 homeowners responded to the questions, I’ll make the rash assumption that the survey’s methodology was scientific.  If so, consider this startling information: Continue reading

Out and About: Pity the co-op listed for years

April 2009 was a l-o-o-o-n-g time ago. (Flickr photo by Rua.A)

You have to feel sorry for the owner of an apartment on the market in the low 90s on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.  The co-op hasn’t found a solid buyer since April. . . of 2009.

The 1,750-sf unit is on the ground floor of a 1925 building with several amenities between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues.  Although used as a residence, it is marketed as a professional suite.

Listed originally for $1.499 million, this three-bedroom, two-bath apartment with a formal dining room held its price until the following October, when it was offered for $1.375 million.  A buyer had an accepted offer about a month later and a signed contract within a couple of weeks.

The property’s new listing agent says there were unresolved zoning issues, causing the transaction to fall apart, and Continue reading

Dutchess County schedules foreclosures auction

Two-bedroom, 2.5-bath Cape on 6.48 acress valued at $370,800 in Pawling.

A total of 122 lots, acreage, camps, homes and commercial properties in Dutchess County head to the auction block on Oct. 5 at 11 a.m.

The properties, a few of which may appeal to second-home hopefuls, are in foreclosure because of owed taxes. In Tivoli, Red Hook, Rhinebeck, Hyde Park and elsewhere throughout the county, many of those properties are undeveloped land or unlikely homes for weekenders.

The auction is to take place Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: New tool rates rental buildings, economists agree that U.S. outlook is dimming

Manhattan condo projects shrink dramatically in size

And this year’s crop of available units is sparse

Analysts, brokers conclude in New York magazine that the market could be worse

New Web site ranks buildings for would-be tenants

Doorman of the year mothers residents of Park West Village

Actress ‘on fire’ moves into rental to attend college

This stone is rolling fast and gathering green

Onetime TV doc unloads Hawaii home after major surgery on his original $19 million asking price (3rd item)

Construction of single-family homes still tepid, but number of permits issued edges up

Oh, there’s one housing market for Continue reading

A caller describes woes of her underwater condo

(Flickr photo by hamad M)

Call her June.

A mutual friend had put June and me in touch with each other a couple of months ago. She’s has on the market her Manhattan condo, a loft of close to 2,000 square feet that she and her husband had extensively renovated after their purchase a few years ago.

When the couple ran into financial straits, they listed the apartment for approximately $2.2 million about a year ago. That level, June confessed, was against her broker’s recommendation to ask less. Had she followed his advice, the place would be long gone.

Something on the order of 75-100 potential buyers looked at the place, but there were no offers. That number of lookers who didn’t even bid defines a property that is priced too high, and June now appreciates Continue reading

Some brokers don’t like me raining on our parade

(Flickr photo by Mr. Jincks)

I get it, really I do.

Brokers receive enough bad press that the last thing we need is criticism from within.  So goes the conventional wisdom.

I respectfully disagree. Continue reading

Out and About: One from Column A, B and/or C

Unless the odor of cooking food happens to waft from a restaurant, I can’t say that I think of Chinese food very often when looking at apartments for sale.

But I thought of the choices that menus sometimes offer while visiting three apartments in the low 70s between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West.  I’m not sure which of the three I liked best, perhaps the one-bedroom unit separated from the two-bedroom co-op by a sad studio.

Buyers can choose any of the apartments alone, combine the studio and one-bedroom, combine the studio and two-bedroom or purchase all three.  They are lined up along a side of their 1925 building, which has a laundry room and concierge as its amenities. The current prices: Continue reading