Weekly Roundup: Early spring, Borgnine mansion, slumping inventory, Case-Shiller attack, DIY tips, increasingly confident Americans, builders’ mood

Governor signs renewal of tax abatement into law

Construction permits take off from 2007 level

Market reveals early spring as pace of pending sales below $5 million is fastest in 12 years

And jump recorded in development activity of multi-family buildings in Brooklyn

Although nothing new, garbage disposals prove to be worthy of boasts

Cuomo seeking to buy out homeowners to remake coastline

Concessions dwindling for buyers of new condos

Will rents take off again?  Maybe: Low inventory continue to push up rents of studios, 2BR apartments last month

Region’s housing prices up 8.5 percent from prior December

Big uptick in supply seems unlikely

Her Greenwich Village duplex is coming around again

Late-night newswoman decamps to $5 million Continue reading

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Unit owners can breathe a sigh of (tax) relief

New York State Capitol in Albany (Flickr photo by Jimmy Emerson)

Although there was little doubt that lawmakers would act, it is nice to know that the New York State Assembly finally passed an Omnibus Housing Bill on Monday following Senate action last week.

The legislation restores for three years the expired tax abatement that was created to equalize the tax burdens between single-family homeowners and owners of co-ops and condos.

It also extends for the same period the J-51 program, which provides a tax benefit for the renovation of existing housing.

However, the legislation eliminates benefits for the conversion of commercial space to residential use and limits the eligibility for condominium and cooperative buildings with units that have an average assessed value per unit is  greater than $30,000.  Excepted are projects that receive “substantial” government assistance.

Certain provisions of the 421a program were amended as well so as to encourage new residential development in  some high-density areas of Midtown and Downtown Manhattan. Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Tax abatements, NYC’s worrisome Q2, U.S. recovery, gay neighborhoods, outdated decor, 30 richest cities and much more

Cuomo says he expects legislature to act in fall, so city retaining abated property tax levels

And appeals of property tax assessments near record number

Manhattan market verges on worried in second quarter

When seeking roommate on Craigslist, the details really matter

Landmark body approves one of three Riverside-West End Avenue historic districts, but others yet to face votes

Region’s foreclosure rate continues to grow

Neighbors rally to save historic Dutch Kills farmhouse

Condo boards Continue reading

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