Weekly Roundup: Lawsuits, rising sales, falling foreclosures, ghostly cities, rosier forecasts

Everywhere in the city, brown sandstone is a fading commodity

Having tried a $500,000 two-week Hamptons rental to snag a man, Cheryl Mercuris buys $13.72 million UWS condo

Good investment property must first of all be in — duh — right location

Record 33 contracts signed for luxury properties last week

To track down pre-construction bargains, start with city’s Web site, then negotiate hard

Priciest zip isn’t on the Upper East Side after all

Median price of lower-end homes swoons in the Hamptons

Agents have reasons stemming from mid 90s lawsuit for withholding square footage

Mauritian national seeks more than $1 million on claim that co-op board broke anti-discrimination law

Rise recorded in foreclosure, delinquency rates in metro region

Stigmatized Kennedy property in Connecticut finds buyer in week

Acting couple rid themselves of Mediterranean-style mansion in Los Angeles for $6.7 million

Moving four blocks away, funny man and wife add a room

Ex-wife of billionaire financier/philanthropist Continue reading

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Think of your attorney as your purchase doctor

(Flickr photo by wolfgangphoto)

Would you pick a physician out of the phone book to save your sight? Not likely.

Choosing the right physician obviously is of utmost importance. When it comes to selecting the right lawyer to handle the sale or purchase of a home, that’s pretty important too.

Yet many buyers and sellers tend to be kind of casual about retaining their attorney, though the best process is lot like finding the best cardiac surgeon.

First, Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Shortage of condos, rates down again, strong signs of U.S. recovery, ugliest house

Lottery opens for 682 affordable housing rentals in Clinton

Number of condos projected to enter market in next few years likely to fall short of demand

With supply of condos dropping steeply, prices rise strongly

Basic steps can smooth apartment sale even before listing or searching

Biggest moving decision for parents centers on schools

Fierce competition in Manhattan pushes investors to outlying areas such as Nassau County

High rents causing drain of the middle class, comptroller reports

But billionaires buying many rooms they can afford with unforgettable views

New site grades each city block based on reviews of everything from crime to school, amenities (register free)

Rents for Boerum Hill studios swell 10 percent since July, topping gains elsewhere in Brooklyn

Accepting cash offer, an Ives grandson stymies plan to turn late composer’s home into museum

Actress is stoked to sell her Village duplex for $7 million

Music mogul lists 66th-floor condo for $8.5 million

After moving to California and renting out her downtown condo, Ryan’s daughter asks $1.645 for the unit (3rd item)

Curbed rounds up the buy and sell of Law and Order cast

Real divorce has couple putting Beverly Hills estate on the market for $26 million

Resales climb, prices go up and inventory Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Rent control, record low, rates, renovations, rosier forecasts. . . much more!

Three-year extension of rent control becomes law

Area single-family homes experience 2.9 percent drop over 12 months

South Bronx burns no more

Trulia says it’s cheaper to rent than buy in Queens

Selling condos to moms and dads often comes down to child’s play

Harlem’s renaissance enjoys revival

Following reports of rent scams by Queens man, attorney general issues Craigslist alert

NYU’s Furman Center documents plunge in Continue reading

As Manhattan sales drop, prices don’t move much

Hymnal Leaf, Vienna 1742. From Psalterio Antiphonale Romanum De Tempore & Sanctis (flickr photo by WikiMechanics)

When the quarterly results of Manhattan’s housing market are released, you can count on a chorus of brokerage executives to sing from the same hymnal.

Yesterday’s Q4 reports were no exception, and I suppose you can’t really blame presumed experts for painting the statistics in the most vivid colors.

So consistently upbeat is their analysis that I take their comments as more prayerful than perceptive. That’s why I referred to “hymnal” in the first paragraph.

Unlike highly educated — though frequently inaccurate — economists, they seem to base their appraisals of the past and predictions of the future merely on Continue reading

Why is ‘boring’ housing market’s Q3 catchword?

(Courtesy of Prudential Douglas Elliman via Curbed)

Executives of the largest brokerages and those who craft reports on Manhattan’s housing market kept using “stable” to describe the second quarter.

For the third quarter, a word I’m seeing — as you doubtless are as well — is “boring.”

The term arises from some, though not all of the statistics. I’ve also noticed an attempt at “normal.”

I’m not so sure.  Variable?  Confusing? Troubling? Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: New tool rates rental buildings, economists agree that U.S. outlook is dimming

Manhattan condo projects shrink dramatically in size

And this year’s crop of available units is sparse

Analysts, brokers conclude in New York magazine that the market could be worse

New Web site ranks buildings for would-be tenants

Doorman of the year mothers residents of Park West Village

Actress ‘on fire’ moves into rental to attend college

This stone is rolling fast and gathering green

Onetime TV doc unloads Hawaii home after major surgery on his original $19 million asking price (3rd item)

Construction of single-family homes still tepid, but number of permits issued edges up

Oh, there’s one housing market for Continue reading