Weekly Roundup: The Big Apple and Beyond

This holiday-weekend combined post is your chance to catch up with news included to inform, enlighten and perhaps even entertain you.  You’ll find Out and About early next week and additional posts every day except President’s Day as usual.

COMMON DISPUTE ABOUT SQUARE FOOTAGE MAKES RARE COURT APPEARANCE

Four years ago, Rishi Bhandari and his fiancée put down a deposit on a condo in Downtown Brooklyn. The price was $795,000, for a two-bedroom two-bathroom apartment, reports the New York Times.

But just before they were to close, Continue reading

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The Big Apple: Look for 1,200 new condos this year

NEWSPAPER SAYS SALE OF FORMER VILLAGE NURSING HOME SIGNALS MARKET RECOVERY

In 2007, before the financial world turned upside down, a condominium developer signed a contract to pay more than $33 million for a former assisted living facility in the heart of the West Village.

More than three years later, the developer, FLAnk, has closed on the purchase of the building at Hudson and West 12th streets. FLAnk paid just a few million dollars short the full pre-crash price: $33.3 million.

The deal is the latest sign that the city’s residential development engine is beginning to crank up again, opines the Wall Street Journal.

SITE OFFERS EXPANDED PROPERTY SEARCHES FOR BUYERS

Pulling data from the Real Estate Board of New York’s RealPlus database–which collects listings information from brokerages– Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Housing market remains ‘depressed’

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 another of today’s three posts.

ACTOR LISTS LISTS CUTS CUTS THE PRICE OF HIS NEW MEXICO RANCH

HE LOSES 1 MILLION PIECES OF PAPER THAT BEAR HIS NAME

IN NEW FIFTH-AVENUE DIGS, LET’S HOPE THIS BUYER HOLDS THE CHEES-Y

ATHLETE BUYS A 4,000-SF LOFT IN CHELSEA–AND THAT’S NO BULL

DEVELOPER WITH A Z CLOSES ON WASSERSTEIN’S 5TH AVE. CONDO AT $3 MILLION OVER ASK AFTER SELLING 15 CPW SPREAD TO TECH WIZ

U.S. PRICES FALL FROM SEPTEMBER TO OCTOBER, THIRD CONSECUTIVE MONTHLY DROP

CASE-SHILLER’S REPORT CONTAINS THE USUAL WEAKNESSES, AMONG THEM 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

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Malcolm@ServiceYouCanTrust.com
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Weekly Roundup: Mortgage rates hit record lows

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 another of today’s three posts.

HAVING SOLD HIS SOHO APARTMENT, HE HAS DESIGNS ON THE HIGH LINE IN WEST CHELSEA

SPORTS FIGURE FAKES A $4.4 MILLION LISTING IN 2005, FINALLY SCORES AFTER A PRICE CUT TO $2.675 MILLION

REAL ESTATE MOGUL’S PENTHOUSE ON CENTRAL PARK WEST FINDS UNNAMED BUYER FOR $40 MILLION, OR $10,259/SF

MEANTIME, THE SAME MOGUL HAS HIS OFFER ACCEPTED FOR Continue reading

Experts weigh in on ‘why’ of numbers, but how?

Jonathan Miller of the Miller-Samuel appraisal firm released the latest statistics in his report for Prudential Douglas Elliman on Friday.

So did Greg Heym from Halstead.  And Pamela Liebman from Corcoran.

Housing price and sales statistics are regularly released by a number of others, including Case-Shiller, Radar Logic, the National Association of Realtors, PropertyShark.com and CoreLogic.

Invariably, the experts also explain the numbers.  My advice is not to put an excessive amount of stock in what they say, Continue reading

Two NY Times columnists offer food for thought

Ron Lieber (New York Times photo by Earl Wilson)

Saturday’s New York Times contained two rather provocative columns about housing, one of which surprised me by suggesting that buying now would not be a bad idea for some consumers.

If you haven’t been following my blog, you would expect me to unabashedly trumpet Joe Lieber’s stance in his piece, “In Defense of Home Ownership.” In fact, I do largely agree with him, but I have reservations that he doesn’t express. Continue reading