Weekly Roundup: Beresford auction, Brooklyn’s Manhattanization, latest market stats, celeb moves, same old loan limits, staging errors

Question facing downtown is whether hurricane stigma short-term phenomenon

Value of views depends on what you see and from what height

Mitchell-Lama program originally aimed to help ‘blighted’ neighborhoods

It is possible to double-check suspicious prices in city’s property records

Foreclosure auction scheduled for Beresford co-op listed for $7.35 million

Residential buildings largely account for 17 percent growth of stalled construction

Price data show ‘Manhattanization’ of condos in hot Brooklyn neighborhoods

Banks hesitant to offer financing for co-ops in buildings with only five or 10 units

Stuyvesant Town tenants reach $68 million settlement with controlling company

Pop queen’s Central Park West duplex is listed for $23.5 million

Actor in search of buyer for Chelsea penthouse Continue reading

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Weekly Roundup: Killing rents, Rat Island langor, celebrity doings, strong resales, shrinking inventory, negotiation advice, Home Depot vs. Ikea, shared households, lots of guessing. More!

Townhouse sales on upswing

Divided board okays 2 percent increase for rent-stabilized units, 4 percent if for 2-year lease

There’s a right way to approach board members with complaints

It’s still mainly doormen, not doorwomen

Apartments selling faster than a year ago

State to spend $60 million on legal services, counseling for homeowners

For delinquent condo residents, the white gloves are off

29 percent of residents spend more than half of their income on rent

Winner of Rat Island auction off City Island in the Bronx settles in

Court rules that rent-controlled apartment can’t be distributed in divorce

Singer is gambling on absolute auction for sale of estate previously listed for $3.5 million

Performance artist Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: May luxury sales boom in Manhattan, U.S. pending sales drop, interest rates reach new lows, talk of recovery swells

Upper West Side townhouse breaks price barrier

Avoid red flags when applying to rent an apartment

You may think this fish story is hard to stomach

Lawyer advises buyers to order a “physical” for new developments

Condo loses bid to stop resident from smoking cigarettes

Luxury properties enjoy blockbuster sales in May, and foreign ‘fright capital’ is driving prices beyond reach of typical wealthy buyer

View of park from Central Park West can be double cost of apartments elsewhere on UWS

Abacus Bank, which primarily serves Chinese community, indicted on charges of mortgage fraud

On Fifth Avenue, one white-glove building means it

Oscar-winning divorcée sells her townhouse in Harlem for $2.8 million

Former senator Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Wallstreeters retreat, actor is defiant, affordability spreads, predictions vary

Financial services sector is producing fewer buyers and renters

Some neighborhoods are much tighter than others

Not much relief anticipated for renters in tough market

You have options for a neighbor who drives you nuts

Foreclosures fall citywide, despite more co-ops for 4th straight month

Long Island City way past the tipping point

Grammy winner and wife buy Greenwich Village penthouse

Presidential relationship hardly helps sale of former Avedon townhouse

Actor makes no friends Continue reading

A bombshell calling ‘the bottom’ lands online

Housing starts (Click to expand via Calculated Risk)

Bill McBride, who is a highly respected blogger on finance and economics, lobbed a bombshell the other day that has been predictably controversial.

On CalculatedRisk.com — which I check two or three times a day for his latest news, information and insights on real estate — the full-time blogger declared the following:

The Housing Bottom Is Here

He contended that Continue reading

I’ve been thinking. . .

(Flickr photo by SouthernAnts)

Although the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, there is a loose consensus that housing is about to recover or, indeed, is already recovering.

It’s hard to know where we are. None of the statistical information from a variety of sources is particularly helpful. Anecdotal information is even worse.

When it comes to Manhattan’s housing situation, nothing could be easier than to find rosy predictions–most recently in the New York Times, where various executives were quoted as celebrating a boost in business.

Yet, when I speak to brokers at their open houses,  Continue reading

Have we reached light at the end of the tunnel?

The latest statistics indicate growing signs of a housing recovery, but mark any recovery as tentative.

Increasing  strength could be undercut in a number of ways.  Among the uncertainties are unemployment, mortgage rates, the condition of both the U.S. and global economies, and consumer confidence.  Also to be considered is the so-called “shadow inventory.”

Still, new information suggests that perhaps we are not only seeing the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, but possibly our journey through the tunnel has ended.

Trulia finds inventory plunging and percentage of price cuts trending down.

The news in the last day or two is, of course, conflicting.  There is evidence that the supply of housing has dropped dramatically (in the chart above); builder confidence is inching up; home construction of new homes jumped in January; the Conference Board said today that its index of leading indicators ticked up by 0.3 percent; today’s inflation measure shows an unexpected rise; it could take up to 33 more months to dispose of the supply of homes facing foreclosures; and some economists foresee another dip in the housing market.

Continue reading