Weekly Roundup: NYC condos, U.S. inventory, all-time low rates, Airbnb, pet furniture, most diverse metros, housing forecasts and much more

Brownstones increasingly go mod

Number of new listings of new condos turns up in Manhattan along with prices there and in Brooklyn, Queens

Causing 15 percent increase in materials and monopolizing workers, Sandy raises construction costs

Buyers of lower Manhattan apartments so far unmoved by storm

Rents continue to climb as vacancies reach 32-month high, and biggest October increases hit smaller units

Report suggests that multiple bids for renovations may encourage homeowners to overpay

And don’t expect financing for renovations to be a breeze

Five brokers investigated on complaints that they demanded extra fees from HIV renters

Region remains least-affordable major housing market in nation

Foreclosure filings surge in metro area, more than anywhere else

With her Georgia home foreclosed, she has reason to sing the blues

Media mogul pays record $54 million Continue reading

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Weekly Roundup: Rents peak, rates hit new low

Q4 prices for homes in the outer boroughs held up better than they did in Manhattan

Of 6 neighborhoods celebrated by the Historic District Council, 1 is in Manhattan

Foreclosure filings grew 28 percent from 2010 to 2011, but foreclosures dropped to 7-year low

State investigating whether big banks fraudulently steer borrowers to expensive insurance

Reaching median of $3,145 monthly, rents in Q4 up to 2006 level

Consumers should weigh impact of maintenance fees and common charges

Tiger’s former wife bugged by $12 million mansion, so it’s gone

He bonds with $11.5 million SoHo penthouse

Who wants to be a m– mansion seller?

Cooper purchases $1.7 million property next door to his Hamptons retreat

Rosy index of ‘improving’ markets somehow posts Continue reading

The Big Apple: Median price grew most here

My coverage of New York City news likely will be sporadic over the next couple of weeks, but please do check here to catch up with important developments or perhaps my idle musings.

BANKS STRUGGLE TO SEIZE HOMES, MORE SO IN NEW YORK THAN ANYWHERE ELSE

It takes longer to foreclose on homes in New York than in any other state—and it’s getting longer every month.

Two years ago, the state began requiring that banks and borrowers attend settlement conferences before a foreclosure takes place.

While the conferences are popular with borrowers and have succeeded in helping some families keep their homes, banks have been reluctant to participate. That, and recent revelations that some lenders have improperly submitted foreclosure documents, has prompted judges to take a harsher stance with lenders.

CUOMO IS UNRELENTING ON PLEDGE TO CAP PROPERTY TAXES

Gov.-elect Andrew M. Cuomo is making clear to legislative leaders that one of his priorities is to cap local property taxes, a notion that would have large consequences statewide for homeowners and school districts.

Take my refrigerator, please, as the eighth item below suggests. No, not YOU! (Flickr photo by Tammy Green)

Cuomo is proposing a limit on the total amount of property tax dollars that can be collected annually by a school district, municipality or special district by capping the increase in the local tax levy at 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less, according to his campaign literature.  Schools traditionally receive the largest share of property taxes.

A cap would not directly affect New York City, where property taxes are relatively low because of revenue from the city’s personal income tax and where the schools are financed through the general city budget. But outside the city, New York is among the most heavily taxed states in the country.

D’YA THINK THIS NOMAD MIGHT HAVE A BOOK OR MOVIE DEAL IN THE BACK OF HIS MIND OR HIGHEST OF HIS HOPES?

Ed Casabian’s nomadic existence Continue reading