Weekly Roundup: Latest rent stats, celebrities’ real estate, state of U.S. market, mortgage fraud, house swapping, growing consumer optimism

Manhattan rents shoot up 8.2 percent in a year, reaching $3,195 monthly

And Tribeca has biggest change in rents from prior month

Beating out other applicants means renting only what you can afford — and much more advice

Before signing lease, understand landlord’s perspective

Brooklyn, Queens attain highest average sales price in Q3 since 2007

Co-ops and condos Continue reading

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Add good looks to reasons for picking broker

If Johnny Depp or Angelina Jolie change careers and walk into your home to pitch their skills at selling real estate, sign ’em up immediately.

It turns out that looks matter.

Even after controlling for the quality of the house, research published in Applied Financial Economics finds that the personal characteristics of real estate agents affect house prices but don’t shorten the length of time a property is on the market. Continue reading