Weekly Roundup: New mortgage caps irk sellers

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.

Actor seeks to trade visual poetry for pied-à-terre and pâté de foie gras

Live buyer catches mystery writer’s lair on W. 67th St. for $745,000

Celebrity photographer who was a Warhol protégée sells his two-bedroom apartment

He puts Telluride spread on the market for $18.3 million, not that there’s anything wrong with that

Average effective rent rises $23 to $997/month, but NYC at $2,826

New Zestimates give rise to Continue reading

NAR sees promise, but hold off on fireworks for now

Pending home sales in the U.S. rose again in November, with the broad trend over the past five months indicating a gradual recovery into 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The Pending Home Sales Index rose 3.5 percent to 92.2 based on contracts signed in November from 89.1 in October, the NAR said.

The index is 5.0 percent below a reading of 97.0 in November 2009.  The data reflect contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.  (That’s why the NAR mis-characterizes the index as “forward looking.”)  Commented NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun:

In addition to exceptional affordability conditions, steady improvements in the economy are helping bring buyers into the market.  But further gains are needed to reach normal levels of sales activity.

If we add 2 million jobs as expected in 2011, and mortgage rates rise only moderately, we should see existing-home sales rise to a higher, sustainable volume

If, if. . .  If, indeed!

Let’s hope he’s right and expect that he’s not.

I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than depressingly disappointed.  Wouldn’t you?

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

Malcolm@ServiceYouCanTrust.com
Web site

Number of signed contracts falls in June

Pending home sales edged down in June, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which forecast near-term sales in the U.S. notably lower than during the months that approached expiration of the homebuyer tax credit.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, declined 2.6 percent to 75.7 based on contracts signed in June from an upwardly revised level of 77.7 in May.  It was 18.6 percent below June 2009. Commented Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist: Continue reading

Sales of previously owned homes top forecasts

The National Association of Realtors reports that existing-home sales in the U.S. climbed 7.6% in April above March’s level.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expected sales last month to climb 4.7%, to a rate of 5.60 million.

The increase was 22.8 percent over one year earlier.

At the same time, inventory rose to 8.4 months at the current sales pace from 8.1 months in March.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

Malcolm@ServiceYouCanTrust.com
Web site

NAR aims to bar discrimination against gay people

The board of directors of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), of which relatively few Manhattan brokers are members, has amended its Code of Ethics to include a bar to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Final approval is slated for a vote in November.

The board  approved on Saturday a rule that bans Realtors from denying equal professional services to a customer on the basis of sexual orientation.

It amended Article 10 of the Code of Ethics, which addresses “duties to the public.” That part of the Code already prohibits Realtors from discriminating against customers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.

Standard of Practice 10-3 also was modified to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in any advertisements for selling or renting property.

The change, met with applause, was passed unanimously by the Professional Standards Committee earlier in the week. The measure will now go before the NAR Delegate Body for approval at NAR’s annual conference in November.

Subscribe by Email

Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

Malcolm@ServiceYouCanTrust.com
Web site

‘Independent contractor’ abuse is scrutinized

There’s a flurry of activity in the nation’s capital to clamp down on U.S. workers that are misclassified as independent contractors, a category under which all but a tiny minority of real estate agents fall.

According to Realtor magazine, a publication of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the government says far too many businesses are using incorrect employee classifications to avoid paying Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance taxes.

Congress last year started looking into misclassification of employment status in an attempt to get a handle on a problem that the U.S. Department of Labor says is huge – possibly applying to as much as 30 percent of the country’s workforce.

This year, the government’s focus intensified: Continue reading

‘. . . will not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate. . .’

Flickr photo by marttj

BROKER WARS: Tales from the Front

This is the final part of my series on broker ethics.  In Part 1, I gave examples of breaches that I have seen in the last year.  In Part 2, I described the minimum amount of training and education that a real estate agent must have to become licensed.  In this third part, I suggest a path for dealing with the issue.

To my mind,  a code of ethics that imposes compelling penalties must be instituted and enforced.

On the Web site of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY),  I tried to find anything at all about ethical standards, as I mentioned in my previous post. But the only information on the Web site had to do with class schedules.  Not a word on what the standards might be or what to do if a consumer thought they had been violated.

I’ve been told by a onetime sales manager in a now-defunct brokerage that it is possible to report an offense to REBNY.  (How continues to mystifies me.)  However, said the manager, nothing happens if you do so.

By contrast, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has a strong Code of Ethics.  Reflecting and greatly expanding upon state laws, it has teeth. Continue reading