Weekly Roundup: Inventory effects, moving actors, price gain questions, dubious lenders, N.J. condos, renovation tips, divergent forecasts

Despite short supply, citywide sales rise in 2012

Median Manhattan rent reaches $3,195 as sales inventory dwindles

23 new developments hitting market this spring

Closet space can account for substantial price differences

Lottery opened for affordable rentals in new luxe UWS building near Fairway

Auction scheduled for lakefront home in Copake

As supply becomes scarce, price growth is modest in Queens

Actor’s strategy for exiting Manhattan is move to Brooklyn

Greenwich Village home of classical music icon on market for $2.8 million

Here comes the profit for Continue reading

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Weekly Roundup: New Yorkers see little change in 2012, a slugger scores, new-home sales slip

You may want to “like” Service You Can Trust on Facebook if you haven’t yet and find much information not in daily posts.

Bank moratorium leads to sharp drop in foreclosures citywide, swooning to lowest number in last seven years

Apartment values increase 3.6 percent in five boroughs, including rental buildings

Map shows younger singles looking for a mate or date where to live

With growing pessimism, surveyed New Yorkers expect real estate market to remain virtually unchanged over the year

Plethora of studios and one-bedrooms forces price cutting from Murray Hill to the Upper East Side

Report shows that things are not quite so sunny in paradise

Millionaire hoopster takes 58 percent loss on sale of North Bergen condo

Slugger scores with Rushmore flip

She seems drawn to sex Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Market reports out, interest rates never lower, a music man moves and more!

Third quarter reports may imply continuing market stability

Former IRS agent says developers evade substantial taxes annually

Can’t we all just get along: How to be a good neighbor

Faced with white brick, buildings face mighty big expenses now

Six in Queens, including two brokers, accused of participating in $25 million mortgage fraud

Rat’s not the only island in the city, but the others — e.g. Manhattan — are not exactly for sale

Open House New York gives let’s you inside this weekend

Cool interactive map shows 3Q sales data by buildings’ price range

Foreclosure actions continue downward trend

City official, six developers charged with racketeering, bribery

Cow heads could be yours at Landmarks Preservation Commission auction

17 questions to ask before buying an apartment

He adds even more windows to his world

Music man Continue reading

Brokers know something that appraisers don’t

Past just isn’t precedent when it comes to appraisals. (Flickr photo by -Georg-)

If you seek to borrow money from an institutional lender such as a bank to purchase your new home, you can be sure of at least two things: mounds of completed paperwork and a visit by an appraiser to your intended property.

It is the appraiser’s job to determine whether the apartment or single-family house provides enough collateral to back up the loan in the event of default.  As we all know, when the value declines below the value of the loan, the homeowner is said to be underwater, owing more than the property is worth.

That’s not a happy situation either for the lender or the owner.

Appraisers note Continue reading

Officials set minimum auction bids different ways

Surrogate's Courthouse in Manhattan, site of public administrator auctions.

Auction aficionados are well aware that each of the public administrators in the city’s boroughs holds auctions usually three or four times a year to unload properties of owners who died without a will.

Every time I publish a post about an upcoming auction along with the minimum bids, I can count on Internet chatter to the effect that the apartments and townhouses going on the block don’t add up to bargains. To commenters, the minimum bids invariably seem too high.

I got to wondering how the public administrators decide on the minimum. Continue reading

Builders, Realtors groups blame the messenger

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), it’s not the economy, stupid.  It’s not those avaricious lenders of sub-prime loans to unqualified buyers.  It’s not exotic hedge funds.  Nor is it government regulators.

No, it’s. . . appraisers!

Get this from an NAHB press release this week (and just wait until you read the last paragraph of the release, in boldface way below):

“Using foreclosed and distressed sales as comparables with appraisals on single-family homes without adequately reflecting the differences in the condition of the respective properties is needlessly driving down home values.”

That’s the lead paragraph. The release then quotes its chairman of the board, whose photo is below. Says Joe Robson, a home builder from Tulsa, Okla.:

“Any home buyer can recognize the difference between a well-kept home and a distressed property that is damaged or not properly maintained. So it only makes sense that an appraiser should be required to consider the overall condition of a property and the specific factors related to a foreclosure or distressed property sale when selecting and adjusting the value of comparables.”

If you are buying or selling real estate, this is an issue that you’ll discover runs close to home. One reason Continue reading