The Big Apple Sept. 10

WHILE THE U.S.  SUFFERED IN Q2, MANHATTAN HOUSING IMPROVED

After disturbing Q2 reports were released last month on the U.S. housing market (in “Weekly Roundup” below), the Wall Street Journal’s Josh Barbanel armed himself with statistics to show that the situation in Manhattan wasn’t so bad. Sales of apartments in Manhattan appear to have strengthened this summer, with median prices up, inventory down and an increase in the number of apartment closings, he reported.

“The figures suggest that the Manhattan market, buoyed by a resumption of hiring and a healthy Wall Street bonus season ahead, has so far escaped much of the distress across the country,” Barbanel wrote.  He noted that July’s median home sale price in Manhattan was $900,000 in comparison with $182,600 nationwide.

In a subsequent piece, Continue reading

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Okay, New Yorkers, let’s all take a deep breath

Flickr photo by palisade 14

With the news this week of plunging home sales across the country, doom and gloom has enveloped almost everyone I know.  Stock prices dropped impressively, and the New York Times led the paper yesterday to report on mounting anxiety related to the impact of the latest housing statistics.

To be sure, I recently took a dim view (which I retain) about the chances of a housing recovery in the Big Apple, but Josh Barbanel, whom I know and much respect, injected welcome perspective in an article he wrote yesterday in the Wall Street Journal.  The headline said it all: Continue reading

m127 auction has 13 secrets you need to know

It turns out that there may well be plenty you haven’t discovered about the absolute auction of five unsold condos plus the penthouse (subject to the seller’s confirmation) at 127 Madison Avenue, dubbed m127.

One thing the developer hasn’t volunteered in connection with the sale on June 27 at the Roosevelt Hotel is that the company, Cardinal Investments, is facing foreclosure on the building.  A foreclosure motion filed by the Bank of Smithtown is due for a court hearing two days before the auction, according to an attorney quoted by Josh Barbanel in the Wall Street Journal.

Alan C. Polacek, an attorney for the bank, which is based on Long Island, told Barbanel that a court-appointed referee recently put the debt owed by the developer at nearly $9 million.

The newly revealed information – together with an amendment to the developer’s offering plan, financial statements and the purchase contract – suggests a potentially confusing, even financially hazardous, situation for any winning bidders. Continue reading