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: 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

The Big Apple: Signs of stability evident in Q2

Luxury market boosts second quarter sales, prices

After a slight drop in prices at the beginning of the year, the Manhattan real estate market has stabilized in the last three months, with prices rising slightly and sales volume increasing with an expected spring surge in home buying.

Today’s second-quarter sales reports released by the city’s largest brokerage firms show that the increase in the average sale price was largely attributable to more robust sales of larger and more expensive apartments, while studio and one-bedroom sales lagged slightly.

Still, with question marks on employment and the limited availability of credit to homebuyers, there were few predictions of a major upturn in the Manhattan market.

The big sore spot in the market was the median sales price of new developments, which plunged 15.7 percent from last quarter and 19 percent from the year before, to $1.13 million.

Appraisal executive Jonathan Miller said the result was consistent the average sale in a new development being approximately 15 percent smaller in physical size than previous quarters. Because the smaller units require buyers to borrow less and have price points that qualify for special loans, they dominated the market, according to Miller.

Not a strong trend, but buyers are plunking down deposits based only on floor plans in new buildings

When the real estate market was booming, buyers routinely signed contracts for apartments in yet-to-be-built buildings, making their decisions based on little more than an artist’s rendering and a miniature model of their new home.

That changed once the market crashed, the New York Times observes.

Off-site showrooms disappeared, and buyers became deeply skeptical about floor plans and fancy brochures. Developers realized that buyers would no longer buy a home without first running a hand along a kitchen counter and standing by a window to take in the views.

In recent months, though, Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Some buyers want it all. More!

Here’s your chance to catch up with news included to inform, enlighten and perhaps even entertain you. To read about The Big Apple, check out the other of today’s posts and look for Out and About early next week.

Author didn’t sleep there, but Long Island mansion slated for destruction evokes his memory

Investors, not first-time buyers, have propelled the housing market since July

Sales of million-dollar homes Continue reading

HUD ratchets up LGBT anti-discrimination efforts

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says it will pump up its activities to combat housing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender  individuals and families (LGBT).

New guidance treats gender identity discrimination most often faced by transgender persons as gender discrimination under the Fair Housing Act and instructs HUD staff to inform individuals filing complaints about state and local agencies that have LGBT-inclusive discrimination laws. Continue reading

Builders are really, really glum, but permits rise

Figures from NAHB of its index of builder confidence.

This graph from CalculatedRiskBlog.com says it all.

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

The good news is that reduced confidence leads to reduced inventory, and Lord Keynes was right about the correlation between supply and demand.

Additional good news comes from HUD, which documents promising increases in housing starts and permit issuance.

The bad news is that decreased building means fewer jobs and a sluggish economic recovery. Continue reading