Advertisement’s author abruptly hangs up on me

I did reach the author of the advertisement in the New York Times (published again on Sunday) that provoked my interest.  That’s the one in which was promised a doubling of investors’ money within three years.

In my post last week, I wondered aloud whether the guy was legit.

Apparently there is more than one way to sell a house. (Flickr photo by sean dreilinger.)

I’m still not sure what he’s about after talking on the telephone to Southampton-based Peter Clarke, 50, for about 10 minutes before he abruptly hung up on me, saying, “We’re done, thanks.” Continue reading

What about so many auctions? It’s the economy.

A collection of 14 deteriorating South Bronx apartment buildings has been snapped up by a real estate development company led by former New York Met first baseman Maurice “Mo” Vaughn in a foreclosure auction,  Amanda Fung reports in Crain’s.

The properties were owned by entities of the Ocelot Capital Group, which abandoned them, let them fall into disrepair and eventually defaulted on the mortgage. Continue reading

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Malcolm Carter
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Charles Rutenberg Realty
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Are foreign investors ignoring potential conflicts?

For real estate brokers, international investors can be a coveted goldmine.

For example, the Irish were buying up blocks of condos in new developments at the height of Manhattan’s housing market.  When the dollar was at its weakest, the British were eager to purchase here, and Asians from overseas also proved to be heavy investors in the Big Apple’s real estate.

The New York Times on Sunday focuses on two brokerages that have targeted international investors by offering a package of services.  But nowhere in the piece is there mention of glaring potential conflicts of interest.  Continue reading

Now, 2 more luxury condos on the block this week

Two sensational condos are to be auctioned this week in Manhattan.

Museum Tower

Museum Tower

One is a 1,204-sf one-bedroom apartment on the 18th floor of the Museum Tower.  To be sold fully furnished, the condo has a Midtown address: 15 W. 53rd St., #18F.  With high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and one and a half baths, the unit is in a building with every imaginable amenity.

The owner was Dan Wise, accused in April of running a $67 million Ponzi scheme based on phony real estate investments.

The other one is an 889-sf unit with balcony overlooking Times Square from the 11th Floor.  Its address is 1600 Broadway, #11B.  Continue reading

Radar Logic seems to see the bottom, but coyly

Home prices increased in June from the previous month in 23 out of the 25 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) tracked by the Radar Logic real estate data and analytics company, which released its results today.

Its 25-MSA Real Property Index (RPX) increased 3% on a month-over-month basis, one of the largest gains during the month of June since 2000.  Price gains accelerated in June in contrast to the historical pattern.

The increase in the 25-MSA Composite from February to June outpaced the gains over the same period during the previous three years, and the increase from April to June was the largest of any year since the beginning of Radar Logic’s data in 2000. Continue reading

The bottom is coming, the bottom is coming!

Economists and headlines are having a field day with the latest reports on existing-home sales, new-home sales and, from Case-Shiller and the federal government, prices.  (See the posts below, as well as my latest newsletter.)




So trumpets the New York Times in the lead story on Page 1 today.  But whoa, fellas!  Let’s not rush to judgment.  Continue reading

Demand for new condos once was hot. Once.

In 2005 alone, the Real Deal found that as many as 9,000 condos were proposed for Manhattan or already developed and sold that year.

Even though there were three times as many co-op apartments in Manhattan than new condos, the sales activity in new developments as well as well as prices easily overtook co-ops.

How times have changed. Continue reading

I read the news today oh boy. Have you?

This seven-bed, 10-bath 1920s-style estate — recently repossessed by Patriot National Bank — was initially offered at just under $10 million. For parts of last winter, its doors were left unlocked and often open, and leaves blew in.

This seven-bed, 10-bath 1920s-style estate — recently repossessed by Patriot National Bank — was initially offered at just under $10 million. For parts of last winter, its doors were left unlocked and often open, and leaves blew in. This photo by Edgar Martins appears in today's New York Times.

In the event your holiday weekend has been spent sensibly watching fireworks, barbecuing, catching up on movies and generally relaxing, perhaps you missed the Sunday Times magazine, which commissioned Edgar Masters last fall to document the fruits of the housing boom. The photo above is just one of many, and I thought you might be intrigued, as was I, by the Times’ slide show.

No doubt coincidentally (no, I’m not being sarcastic), the Book Review today considers Continue reading

The more things change–well, you know the rest

The Time Warner Center seen from the Top of the Rock in Rockefeller Center.

The Time Warner Center seen from the Top of the Rock in Rockefeller Center.

A broker friend of mine mentioned the other day that there was a broker open house tour near Columbus Circle at the southern end of the Upper West Side.  She thought the apartments on view might well interest me.

Most brokers, including me, are little different from most consumers in that the most expensive and lavish properties hold a particular fascination.  High on the list of such properties are apartments in the Time Warner Center.  (I’ve written about them in past newsletters.)

Continue reading