Weekly Roundup: Lawsuits, rising sales, falling foreclosures, ghostly cities, rosier forecasts

Everywhere in the city, brown sandstone is a fading commodity

Having tried a $500,000 two-week Hamptons rental to snag a man, Cheryl Mercuris buys $13.72 million UWS condo

Good investment property must first of all be in — duh — right location

Record 33 contracts signed for luxury properties last week

To track down pre-construction bargains, start with city’s Web site, then negotiate hard

Priciest zip isn’t on the Upper East Side after all

Median price of lower-end homes swoons in the Hamptons

Agents have reasons stemming from mid 90s lawsuit for withholding square footage

Mauritian national seeks more than $1 million on claim that co-op board broke anti-discrimination law

Rise recorded in foreclosure, delinquency rates in metro region

Stigmatized Kennedy property in Connecticut finds buyer in week

Acting couple rid themselves of Mediterranean-style mansion in Los Angeles for $6.7 million

Moving four blocks away, funny man and wife add a room

Ex-wife of billionaire financier/philanthropist lists UWS spread for $50 million

Singer/songwriter who was Idol judge relists California home for $3 million less than last fall’s $10 million asking price

September’s resales 11 percent greater than year earlier, thus bringing supply closer to balanced market

Two thirds of markets in one study worse off than four years ago

New-home sales at highest level since April 2010, when tax benefits spurred buyers

Resales improve somewhat from September this year, 14.5 percent from last year

Although loan delinquencies shoot up from September to August, they decrease 4 percent from 2011

Buyers often blindsided at different stages of lending process

Chairwoman of Mortgage Bankers Association says 10-20 percent of qualified borrowers unacceptably denied loans

Loan activity slows

U.S. sues Bank of America for $1 billion on claim of fraud for Countrywide’s alleged underwriting flaws

Foreclosures taper off nationally but swell in states with courts’ involvement

Latest rates pretty much unchanged

Households with $100,000-500,000 annual income tend to get most benefit from interest deduction

Wealthy home buyers making massive down payments to get smaller loans with lower rates

Scammers love to rent out properties they don’t even own

Some find moving back in with parents not half bad

To find ghosts, head for cities with the most old vacant homes

Housing bull Bill Miller reaps 30 percent return on fund he manages

Curbed profiles 12 of country’s endangered historic buildings, two of them in the Big Apple

Zillow gives free access to 1.8 million foreclosed homes not yet listed for sale

Deeply private billionaire owns far more U.S. acreage than Rhode Island contains

What succeeds in New York architects don’t leave in New York

The costlier the house, the more likely high-profile buyers will hide behind LLCs, trusts

Seven ways to save space begin with editing and editing some more

There are more choices in comforters these days plus smart ways to care for them

Housing leaves younger generation unfazed and more knowledgeable about homeownership

Remodeling index returns to 2005 level

Google searches swing from home buying to financing

Nearly three-fourths of sellers question value received from agent commissions

Coming years could bring 3-4 percent annual increase in home price, says Barclays

Freddie Mac economist expects housing’s recovery to pick up

Mortgage groups forecast strong growth

Realtors association imagines 9 percent increase in sales next year, 5 percent in prices

You have the option to search privately for all New York City properties, though I encourage you to be in touch with me for assistance and advice. You also may want to see my 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

Web site

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