Weekly Roundup: Condos pipeline, easing rents, rising values, foreclosure pitfalls, hiding places, credit reporting errors, moving tips and more

Real estate pros expecting best year since fall of 2008

They’re taking Manhattan but leaving it alone

Strong demand has developers raising prices of new condos month after month

Construction loans easier to obtain

Jumping 54 percent in 2012 from prior year, new residential construction more than doubles from 2010

With tenants choosing to buy, rental market cools a bit

Report says ‘affordable’ housing too costly

Attorney general to stop settling escrow disputes, send parties to court instead

Celebrity chef moves to 4,650-sf Harlem townhouse

His mission of selling 2,200-sf East Village condo proves to be possible

Onetime Heisman winner Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Latest rent stats, celebrities’ real estate, state of U.S. market, mortgage fraud, house swapping, growing consumer optimism

Manhattan rents shoot up 8.2 percent in a year, reaching $3,195 monthly

And Tribeca has biggest change in rents from prior month

Beating out other applicants means renting only what you can afford — and much more advice

Before signing lease, understand landlord’s perspective

Brooklyn, Queens attain highest average sales price in Q3 since 2007

Co-ops and condos Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Sales strong, rents spike, celebs move, U.S. prices rebound, rates drop again, consumers hopeful, analysts see recovery

Strong sales mark first half of year as inventory dwindles

$7.67 billion worth of homes change hands citywide in Q2

Rents jump to highest level in two years in fifth consecutive quarterly rise

Woman accuses landlord of refusing to list her wife 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

Out and About: East Harlem offers housing value

One of the smaller kitchens in the new East Harlem buildings that I visited.  Most are both attractive and serviceable.

Call it East Harlem, Spanish Harlem, SpaHa or El Barrio.

What ever you call it, the neighborhood’s boundaries lie between First and Fifth avenues and East 96th to East 125th streets in northeast Manhattan.

It is enjoying a raft of new developments, the thrum of gentrification and the throb of racial and economic diversity that is at least as robust as some other popular parts of Manhattan.

Just a couple or few blocks from the five buildings that I visited on a brokers’ tour recently are the new Costco, Target and other useful stores as well as an upscale mom-and-pop bakery called Savoy.  Yet old-time restaurants such as Rao’s are nearby as well, along with casual restaurants where a cafe con leche makes for a delightful afternoon pick-me-up.

There is plenty of bus transportation, but perhaps the area’s biggest drawback is the distance from many of the buildings from the Lexington Avenue subway line.

That’s one of the most obvious tradeoffs for living in East Harlem, the other being Continue reading

Out and About: You gotta love the neighborhood

In early May, Riverside Park is this side of paradise.

A while back, I quoted Paul Purcell, who is a founder of Charles Rutenberg Realty, as mentioning what he termed an old saw:

You’ve got to like your home, but you’ve got to love your neighborhood.

Smart and obvious, though not to me until then.

The concept came back to me last month when watching a friend of mine, Teri Karush Rogers of BrickUnderground.com, on WNBC-TV, where she was talking about mistakes that buyers make.  She confessed that she twice had made one such mistake, and you’ve guessed what it is: She loved two places to which she moved but hated the neighborhoods.

As for me, I’ve lived in seven different Manhattan neighborhoods.  In order, they have been Morningside Heights, Washington Heights (in a section that has taken on airs as “Hudson Heights”), close to the East Village (18th and First Avenue), central West Village, Gramercy/Flatiron and now the Upper West Side near the 96th Street express stop on Broadway.

I can’t say Continue reading

The Big Apple: Whither our housing market. More!


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.


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

Out and About: Before buying, fall in love with the nabe


A Central Park block in the mid 90s.

An extraordinarily wise and experienced real estate professional–okay, Paul Purcell is a founder of Charles Rutenberg Realty, with which I’m affiliated–once said this to a seller whose apartment we were pricing:

You’ve got to like the apartment, but you’ve got to love the neighborhood.

Honestly, I’d never considered that criterion with quite so much emphasis.  When I think of it, however, the notion of which part of the city appeals to a buyer naturally has to come first.  (With me, it was one factor on which I have been willing to compromise, having lived in neighborhoods as diverse as Washington Heights and Gramercy Park, among several others.)

But I get it.

We all know that there are Continue reading

The Big Apple: Q3 reports suggest stabilization


After two years of unpredictable sales trends, the Manhattan real estate market seems to have settled into a more typical and seasonal pattern, with prices rising slightly and sales volume dipping in the recent summer months, according to third-quarter market reports, says the New York Times.

Prices increased for the fifth straight quarter, with the average sales price hovering around $1.43 million and the median price around $910,000, according to data provided by the city’s four largest brokerage firms. But prices are still well below the market’s height a couple of years ago, when the average was higher than $1.7 million and the median was close to $1 million.

Inventory has declined, reports the Real Deal, and the Wall Street Journal says Manhattan is a star in the apartment market.

But my post (below) on Wednesday questions whether September has evolved into a healthier market.


The West Village’s 10014 Continue reading