Weekly Roundup: New NYC stats, land paradox, easing rates, Fair Housing, search tool. . . more

All-cash dream can become all-consuming nightmare

WNYC investigation: System of appointing foreclosure referees operated with little oversight, rife with irregularities, dominated by political insiders

Signed contracts for $10 million-plus residential properties in Manhattan double the same time last year

Narrowest house, where Edna St. Vincent Millay lived, finds buyer at last

Rent board approves maximum increases  roughly double last year’s for stabilized apartments

Finding Hollywood home addresses of celebrities fast and easy

Grammy-winning saxophonist tries again to sell UWS townhouse, this time for $12 million

Comedic former TV talker sells Miami hacienda way below original ask of $20 million

Couple could be sleepless Continue reading

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Weekly Roundup: New development sales, eccentric buyers, agents’ frothy remarks, free mortgage tutorial, economics of price changes

With inventory tight and prices climbing, sales of new condos plunge

Yet developers, marketers designing ever more spectacular penthouses, townhouses in buildings old and new

Recent law change could make maintenance-free apartments less rare

Buyers do the darndest things

New Yorker magazine lets you click on subway stops to gauge wealth

Beachfront homeowners in Southampton building ramparts against storms

No, says New York magazine, it’s not a bubble again

Disgraced athlete latches onto quarter-acre Texas compound in gated community after dumping old Austin home

Artist makes mark in SoHo with purchase of Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Turning point possibility, record rates again, pet habitats that pamper, stocks vs. housing returns, bulls in retreat. More!

By dollars per square foot, Tribeca tops all other Manhattan neighborhoods in Q1

Average monthly rent in Manhattan attains record $3,429 or $4,250 in April, depending on source

When you move here from out of state, the taxman wants to get his hooks into you

Manhattan has had 169 percent spike in new building permits this year, 35 of them in contrast to 13

Water Board approves 7 percent increase starting July 1

Citywide Q1 sales Continue reading

Many resources provide insights into best schools

Belmont High School wasn't all algebra and English, thank goodness. That's Julie and me cutting the cake to celebrate an occasion long forgotten. (Photo by Ron Kessler)

Real estate agents often are asked where the good schools are or whether a particular school is worthy.

Anyone who answers those questions is in danger of prosecution. That’s because giving schools information is likened to giving neighborhood information.

Under the Fair Housing Act, we’re not allowed to steer buyers toward or away from a “good” or a “bad” neighborhood because doing so amounts to racial discrimination.  Among other characteristics, discriminating by race is against the law on not only the federal level, but state and municipal levels as well.

For buyers in search of helpful information about public and private schools, other resources ensure that all is not lost. Continue reading

Brokers flout Fair Housing laws with impunity

When it comes to many matters relating to real estate, the Big Apple often lags the rest of the country.

One prime example discussed on this blog concerns the continuing resistance, especially by the biggest brokerages, to a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) even while reluctantly accepting VOWs (Virtual Online Web sites).

Another example involves the strictures of the Fair Housing Act, along with other anti-discrimination legislation on the municipal, state and and federal levels.

Such measures protect certain “classes” of consumers–for instance, by the source of their income, marital status, age, race and sexual orientation.  (In D.C., sellers may not discriminate by what is called matriculation, that is, against students.)  The list of protected classes can rise into the high teens.

Well schooled about the subtleties of the law when I was affiliated with Long & Foster Real Estate in D.C., I was astonished to see how flagrantly the provisions of the law were violated with impunity by brokers here in New York City. Continue reading