Weekly Roundup: March of rents in May, skyscraper wars, all-cash offers, inventory, continued rate increases, £2 million trailer

Manhattan rents gain substantially over year ago, two reports show, but Brooklyn’s median drops

Another report details continued upward march of rents in Manhattan and Brooklyn

Columbia think tank cites need for small city of new housing to accommodate population growth by 2040

Mayor outlines $20 billion storm protection plan one day after FEMA releases new flood maps

Then Bloomberg proposes major change in building code to enforce additional safeguards

Skyscraper wars dominate new developments

O’, the heartbreak of broken relationships among leaseholding couples

Borrowers rarely can utilize VA loan program in NYC

Outdoor flea, food market begins in Long Island City

He aces sale of of beachfront Malibu home for Continue reading

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Guest post: Former co-op member on Intro 188

To writer/editor Norman Schreiber, co-op boards engage in “bloodlust psychodrama.”  He is the author of what Schreiber describes as a “fun novel,”  Out Of Order, about murders in a co-op.  It is available on Amazon.

by Norman Schreiber

Awesome and awful is a bill under consideration by the New York City Council.

The Council, that bastion of reform, hopes to transform the co-op sales process, though the effort faces a hard road.

As recently reported here, the pending bill (Intro 188) obviously views co-op boards of directors as  evil and discriminatory.  The measure would mandate transparency and accountability via 45-day time limits, explanations for turndowns, retention of documents for five years and board member certification that no discrimination occurred in rejecting a shareholder application.

Intro 188 puts the burden of proof on all co-ops to show that they don’t discriminate, instead of proving a pattern of discrimination in those that actually do so.  I’m not sure if the bill could work; more likely, it would change the way in which discrimination is covered up.

Still, Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Basement apartments, seller’s market, plunging foreclosures, son of Lincoln’s house, trophy baths, Goldman Sach’s optimism

Manhattan luxury market unseasonably busy

Naturally occurring retirement communities populate Upper West Side

Condominium board gets TRO against Houston couple to prevent short-term stays

San Remo apartment offered for $29,750 in monthly rent went for $900 a month in 1940

Would changing rules for illegal basement apartments boost supply of affordable rentals? asks the Real Deal and Crain’s

Longtime home of Gershwin family goes on the market

Volume of property taxes kept increasing every year from 2005 to 2012

Residents of abutting buildings at war with developer of planned Fifth Avenue

Neighborhood group faults mayor’s plan for affordable housing

Fiercely competitive land prices forcing developers to build high-end condos

Sex symbol who has money troubles lists Malibu home for $7.75 million

6,800-sf TriBeCa penthouse wins undisputed approval of Brooklyn Nets star

New Jersey home was born to sell

Hip-hop star and reality spouse flip-flop Bel Air house handsomely

January numbers show 9.1 year-over-year sales growth, steady price gains so it’s a seller’s market

Supply of resale housing Continue reading

Fair Housing Act can trip up unwary co-op boards

Part 1 of 2

Grossman, 210 E. 36th St., and Thandrayen. (Source: The Real Deal)

It is up to the courts to decide whether a prospective buyer’s claim of discrimination is valid in a $1 million lawsuit.

But the case brought by an African whose application to a seven-member co-op board was rejected highlights the treacherous terrain of anti-discrimination laws.

According to the Real Deal last week, Goldwyn Thandrayen, a native of Mauritius, contended in a complaint amended two weeks ago that the board of 210 E. 36th St. in the Murray Hill neighborhood discriminated against him on the basis of national origin. Continue reading

Perfect pitch may hit the wrong chord of law

(Source: the U.S. National Archives)

The headline went like this:

“Can I Buy Your House, Pretty Please?”

In the Wall Street Journal, the article by Joann S. Lublin noted that the housing market has changed in some areas.  As the subheading observed:

With inventory tight and prices rising, buyers in competitive markets like Silicon Valley and Seattle are returning to a boom-era tactic: writing heartfelt letters to sellers explaining why they should win the house. Signing with a paw print.

The piece is accurate in pointing out that an emotionally charged letter from a buyer can sway a seller who is considering more than one offer.

Referring to the missives as “pitch letters” or “love letters,” Lublin correctly reported that Continue reading

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

Weekly Roundup: Renters reject commissions, pending sales up over year, rates set record, list IDs ugliest mansions, recovery talk ignites debate

Although able to buy multimillion-dollar residences, some very rich folks choose to rent at sky-high prices instead

Fire Department takes dim view of dangling air conditioners and undertakes strong action

Landlord’s empire of apartment buildings collects thousands of code violations

City comptroller expects large residential properties to maintain value

40 percent of renters say they won’t pay broker’s fee purely on principle

Some Brooklyn renters moving back to Manhattan, where they find cheaper digs

With luxury home sales hitting record, surging Hamptons activity nearly matches 2007

City Council overwhelmingly approves NYU expansion plan

Sales, prices of new condos in Brooklyn boom in Q2 vs. prior year

Westchester communities experience parent drain after commencements

Broadway couple trades hit musical for the Hit Factory

She kisses good-bye to Tribeca condo at a small loss

Filmmaker decides it’s time to sell California estate at an asking price of $9.5 million

Index of contracts signed in June Continue reading