Weekly Roundup: Signed contracts slip, rates too

Decrease in signed contracts bodes poor fourth quarter and next year’s first quarter

August condo market was setback for that market in Manhattan

Curbed plumbs the mind of a landlord

Sellers who spend wisely on improvements can reap big dividends

Apartments that are furnished enjoy growing demand

Metro region posts one-year 2.2% rise in prices of single-family homes

The Russians are spending! The Russians are spending!

Co-ops need to adjust to same-sex marriages

Architects dish up pie in the sky for affordable housing

With deep pockets, you can rent where the likes of Anne Hathaway, Marc Anthony, Will Smith and others slept

Weill hopes to do well for charity in asking $88 million for penthouse in order to downsize

Trust ‘Friends’ star to sell home for millions

Her UWS apartment just isn’t as good as it gets (2nd item)

Artist puts renovated Hamptons home on the market, seeking more rural site for Manhattan getaways (3rd item)

Realtor group records falling prices in 75% of metro areas during Q3

Index posts second consecutive monthly and year-to-year decline

But NAHB reports that improving metros rise from 23 to 30 in November

And Builder magazine names the 8 healthiest markets

D.C. tops list of 10 areas with smallest houses, Hawaii is second

Unsurprisingly, it is wealthy buyers who fuel the second-home market

Monthly mortgage payment nears 40% less than in 2006

And 82 percent of refinancing homeowners maintained or cut mortgage debt in Q3. . .

Thanks to plunging rates, which ticked down to 3.99% this week

Lending strictures mean that speaking to a loan officer should be first step in home search

Foreclosure rates nearly double from a year ago

Paying off the mortgage in today’s world may be unwise

October’s foreclosure activity hits 7-month high but is 31% below a year earlier

Number of ‘underwater’ borrowers goes from 26.8% in Q2 to 28.6% in Q3

Purchase applications reach August’s high, but volume still below June/July levels

Many homes purchased by first-timers to obtain last year’s tax credit have lost more in value than the $8,000 benefit

Federal government is auctioning off properties from sea to shining sea

Also available from the Feds are homes for only $100 down, but none in New York State

Architects design Berlin building with co-ops tailored to residents’ tastes and lifestyle that kinda mimics a kibbutz (of all things)

Air is seeping from China’s real estate  bubble

Today’s furnishings cause fires to spread faster than ever

Buy tile in outer boroughs and consider four other ways to save on bathroom renovation

Collectors should avoid eBay to maximize fun and adventure

Fine arts professor suggests chucking plastic reindeer

Consumers’ pessimism persists about housing prices

Two-thirds of Americans says housing will influence vote in 2012

Builder confidence sinks for buyers older than 55

Fitch says growing supply of distressed homes will squeeze prices another 10%

But Zillow predicts a dip of 3-5% until hitting ‘definitive’ bottom perhaps next year

Americans might well turn even more sour on real estate before they finally become optimistic again

You can search for 20,000 New York City properties listed by various brokers, and I encourage you to be in touch with me for assistance and advice. You also may want to see my periodic critiques of properties that I visit in Out and About, which I post on Mondays or Tuesdays.

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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

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