State admits to limited policing of us brokers

(Flickr photo by Metropolitan Police)

Real estate brokers in the state number 52,855, nearly half them in New York City.

Number of complaints filed with New York’s Department of State last year: 952.

Those figures were reported by the Real Deal in a piece about how hard will be enforcement of new advertising rules.  (I reported on the changes previously.)

Given what most consumers think of real estate agents and the number of times that I alone have observed violations of state law, those numbers just don’t square with reality.

There’s a simple explanation. Continue reading

Advertisements

Weekly Roundup: Basement apartments, seller’s market, plunging foreclosures, son of Lincoln’s house, trophy baths, Goldman Sach’s optimism

Manhattan luxury market unseasonably busy

Naturally occurring retirement communities populate Upper West Side

Condominium board gets TRO against Houston couple to prevent short-term stays

San Remo apartment offered for $29,750 in monthly rent went for $900 a month in 1940

Would changing rules for illegal basement apartments boost supply of affordable rentals? asks the Real Deal and Crain’s

Longtime home of Gershwin family goes on the market

Volume of property taxes kept increasing every year from 2005 to 2012

Residents of abutting buildings at war with developer of planned Fifth Avenue

Neighborhood group faults mayor’s plan for affordable housing

Fiercely competitive land prices forcing developers to build high-end condos

Sex symbol who has money troubles lists Malibu home for $7.75 million

6,800-sf TriBeCa penthouse wins undisputed approval of Brooklyn Nets star

New Jersey home was born to sell

Hip-hop star and reality spouse flip-flop Bel Air house handsomely

January numbers show 9.1 year-over-year sales growth, steady price gains so it’s a seller’s market

Supply of resale housing Continue reading

This was not the liveliest showing of my career

SUMMER DAYS DRIFTING AWAY

One of my favorite posts.

In an online piece that turned up yesterday in the Real Deal, a clutch (flock, bevy, herd?) of brokers related some horror stories from open houses, among them:

  • “How about a five-year old breast-feeding?”
  • “A half-naked, sleeping couple.”
  • “When the listing broker invited my client and myself into an open house, showed us around the apartment and when we go to the master bedroom, the seller and his girlfriend were in bed — awake [and] reading the paper [with] no clothes on.”

Such accounts are demonstrably livelier than mine, which concerns an experience I had a few years ago Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Inventory stress, historic low rates, family matters, new kitchen trend. More!

State gives into developers’ concerns about requiring offering plans to be digitized

There is nothing like a closing

Long Island City is starting to turn the corner

Renters indirectly stuck with lion’s share of property taxes

Industry casts skeptical eye on real estate brokers serving on their building’s board

Real Deal tackles rent vs. buy by Manhattan neighborhoods

New kind of report slices and dices rents by neighborhood and building type

Although half of 2007’s peak, residential construction mushrooms

Inventory shortage is causing unseasonable stress

Some of the priciest apartments Continue reading

Rarely is real estate sales chosen as a first career

Heaven knows that real estate sales lacks the glamor of, say, school crossing guard, exterminator, barista or subway conductor.

Of course, there exist those brokers and agents whose social credentials rival Britain’s royal family and whose transactions involve properties in the double-digit millions from the outset of careers that have been their first choice.  But the rest of us have tended to select real estate for a second, third or fourth career when the economy or age has left us with few options.

Although many starting out in the industry may feel like second-class members of the community, Continue reading

Homeowners who bought in 2007 should be celebrating, not crying over spilled milk

Condo and co-op sales (source: Prudential Douglas Elliman via the Real Deal)

Note: With my break drawing to a close, alas, normal frequency of posts resumes Monday.

Let’s say you bought a new home five years ago, a year before Manhattan’s residential market nosedived.

And let’s assume you coughed up $1 million for the privilege of living in your modest 870-sf apartment with two small bedrooms plus one and a half baths on the Upper West Side.

The third set of assumptions might be monthly mortgage payments of $3,500, maintenance of $1,400 and other ownership expenses such as insurance and maintenance of $100 a month.

Do you wish that you had waited until now to have made the purchase?

If you are like many other former homebuyers, Continue reading

As Manhattan sales drop, prices don’t move much

Hymnal Leaf, Vienna 1742. From Psalterio Antiphonale Romanum De Tempore & Sanctis (flickr photo by WikiMechanics)

When the quarterly results of Manhattan’s housing market are released, you can count on a chorus of brokerage executives to sing from the same hymnal.

Yesterday’s Q4 reports were no exception, and I suppose you can’t really blame presumed experts for painting the statistics in the most vivid colors.

So consistently upbeat is their analysis that I take their comments as more prayerful than perceptive. That’s why I referred to “hymnal” in the first paragraph.

Unlike highly educated — though frequently inaccurate — economists, they seem to base their appraisals of the past and predictions of the future merely on Continue reading