The Big Apple: Rentals hot, Hamptons too. More!

Employment posts gain in June, but jobless rate continues to stall

The city’s unemployment rate in June went to 8.7 percent from May’s 8.6 percent, the state Department of Labor reported.

The one-month rise was not itself a significant increase, but after falling consistently each month for nearly a year starting last spring, there have now been four consecutive months without a noticeable decline in the city’s jobless rate.

Most of the drop in the rate from its 10 percent peak has come not from significant job gains but as a result of discouraged job seekers leaving the work force.

The city added 51,400 private sector jobs in the 12 months ending in June. The 1.6 percent growth rate, “is pretty good by historical standards,” according to James Brown, principal economist at the labor department.

Rental rigmarole challenges prospective tenants

With a vacancy rate in Manhattan of under 1 percent, apartments sometimes rent in hours, not days or weeks. Good tenants are not that hard to find. On top of that, evicting problem tenants can be expensive and time-consuming.

So, as the New York Times observes, most landlords here require a lot of information.

They want to see a prospective tenant’s tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, proof of employment, photo identification and, sometimes, reference letters from previous landlords.

Everyone will run a credit check (many Manhattan landlords look for a score above 700) and just about all, from big management firms to small-time landlords, want to know that your gross income is somewhere between 40 and 50 times the monthly rent.

Luxury sales in the East End Continue reading

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The Big Apple: Rents up, condo owners sinking

Luxury markets pulls up Q2 average price, though volume declines

Overall sales volume of condominiums and cooperative apartments in Manhattan has been off about 11 percent so far in the second quarter compared with same period last year, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of the city’s data.

A year ago, the market was bouncing back strongly from the after-effects of the financial crisis.

Prices have remained flat. Data on closings show that median prices in the second quarter were 1.2 percent below prices during the year-earlier period, while average prices rose by 1.5 percent.

The average price for a Manhattan apartment was about $1.39 million in the latest period. The figures are based on closings filed with the city as of 15 days before the end of each quarter.

Russians are invading Continue reading

The Big Apple: Area prices hold up pretty well

Hitting nine-year lows, prices of single-family homes in the region have held up better than elsewhere

Home prices in the New York area have hit their lowest level since the depths of the real estate downturn in mid-2009 and are now back to the averages of nine years ago, according to the latest data.

Since topping out in June 2006, home values in the metropolitan area have slid by more than 24 percent, according to the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which tracks the price of single-family homes.

Over the past year, through the end of March, prices continued to drop, falling 3.4 percent as weakness reentered the market in the wake of the expiration of the homebuyers’ tax credit.

“New York is still one of the healthier markets in the nation,” commented Maureen Maitland, who tracks housing for Standard & Poor’s. “The market is fairly compact, and there’s not much overbuilding, so the homes have retained some of their value.”

Summer rental market has begun, so rents are climbing in Manhattan

Rents for Manhattan apartments rose an average of 0.68 percent in May, according to the latest report from MNS, formerly the Real Estate Group of New York (TREGNY).

For doorman units, the increase was Continue reading