The Big Apple: Median price grew most here

My coverage of New York City news likely will be sporadic over the next couple of weeks, but please do check here to catch up with important developments or perhaps my idle musings.

BANKS STRUGGLE TO SEIZE HOMES, MORE SO IN NEW YORK THAN ANYWHERE ELSE

It takes longer to foreclose on homes in New York than in any other state—and it’s getting longer every month.

Two years ago, the state began requiring that banks and borrowers attend settlement conferences before a foreclosure takes place.

While the conferences are popular with borrowers and have succeeded in helping some families keep their homes, banks have been reluctant to participate. That, and recent revelations that some lenders have improperly submitted foreclosure documents, has prompted judges to take a harsher stance with lenders.

CUOMO IS UNRELENTING ON PLEDGE TO CAP PROPERTY TAXES

Gov.-elect Andrew M. Cuomo is making clear to legislative leaders that one of his priorities is to cap local property taxes, a notion that would have large consequences statewide for homeowners and school districts.

Take my refrigerator, please, as the eighth item below suggests. No, not YOU! (Flickr photo by Tammy Green)

Cuomo is proposing a limit on the total amount of property tax dollars that can be collected annually by a school district, municipality or special district by capping the increase in the local tax levy at 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less, according to his campaign literature.  Schools traditionally receive the largest share of property taxes.

A cap would not directly affect New York City, where property taxes are relatively low because of revenue from the city’s personal income tax and where the schools are financed through the general city budget. But outside the city, New York is among the most heavily taxed states in the country.

D’YA THINK THIS NOMAD MIGHT HAVE A BOOK OR MOVIE DEAL IN THE BACK OF HIS MIND OR HIGHEST OF HIS HOPES?

Ed Casabian’s nomadic existence Continue reading

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The Big Apple: Whither our housing market. More!

MAYBE YOU CAN SEE NEW JERSEY FROM A CONDO FACING AUCTION AND MAYBE EVEN RUSSIA

If you head to Edgewater, N.J. Nov. 17, you can start the bidding with $50,000 on a one-bedroom condo in Battery Park City.

Unit 333 at 21 South End Ave. is the only real estate in New York City among numerous other properties in New York State, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to be auctioned by the Williams & Williams company.

The Regatta

Seventeen units in the Regatta are now on the market, including one with a signed contract, at prices ranging from $385,000 for another third-floor unit described as a junior one-bedroom to $2.7 million for a two-bedroom apartment on the sixth floor.

WHITHER THE HOUSING MARKET? IT DEPENDS, SAY VARIOUS PROGNOSTICATORS

When it comes to the housing market, predictions are perilous business, notes the New York Times. A market that looked as if it was verging on a renaissance Continue reading

If you think the sky is falling here, think again

Storm clouds by Chad Johnson on Flickr.

Reading reports of new-home sales and what is oddly called existing-home sales, you might be forgiven for wondering whether Manhattan is headed for another crash.

If the national data are the source of your concerns, think again. Continue reading

Wall Street bonus impact leaves many guessing

Photo by epicharmus.

It is hardly surprising that there has been a flurry of stories in the last few days about the impact that heady bonuses will have on Wall Street.  Will they goose real estate sales, especially at the higher end? Continue reading

Where’s that bottom everyone is talking about?

Buyers seem not only to be looking again, but they are starting to make offers.  And the offers are less likely to be insulting than they were just a couple of months ago.  Much of the activity appears to be centered on properties listed below $1 million, though buyers at higher levels clearly are less gun-shy than they were in the recent past.

If you doubt the foregoing information, have a look at Sunday’s New York Times, which leads the Real Estate section with a long piece that has the following headline:

Bidding Wars Resume

Regular readers of this blog and my e-newsletter won’t be surprised by the news: I have been warning that such wars would reappear once there occurred a perception that the bottom was here or approaching.  (However, my timing was a bit off; I didn’t expect that change until sometime next year. In any case, I doubt the trend is widespread yet.)

Ask buyers about their renewed interest, and the answers are almost the same: Continue reading