The Big Apple: Sales spiked last spring, then sagged


LANDLORD SUES BROKER, ALLEGING THAT HIS FIRM DIDN’T LOOK OUT FOR HIS BEST INTERESTS

William Cornwell, a retired advertising art director, hired a brokerage firm to a rent out a studio in his West Village townhouse. Then a broker at the firm made him a proposition he found he couldn’t refuse: Why not rent it to me instead?

The result was that Cornwell, 74, signed two handwritten leases on two studios in his Greek revival townhouse, with the agent and the agent’s father, for below market rate and for terms of up to 20 years.

Now Cornwell is in court battling the broker and his firm, charging the leases violated the obligation under state law that a broker represent a client’s interests honestly, fairly and in good faith.  In addition, the state is now investigating the transactions.

IF YOU USE A COMMON CLOTHES DRYER AND ARE PARANOID ABOUT BEDBUGS, Continue reading

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The Big Apple: Q3 reports suggest stabilization

PRICES ARE UP AND SALES ACTIVITY IS DOWN IN THIRD QUARTER

After two years of unpredictable sales trends, the Manhattan real estate market seems to have settled into a more typical and seasonal pattern, with prices rising slightly and sales volume dipping in the recent summer months, according to third-quarter market reports, says the New York Times.

Prices increased for the fifth straight quarter, with the average sales price hovering around $1.43 million and the median price around $910,000, according to data provided by the city’s four largest brokerage firms. But prices are still well below the market’s height a couple of years ago, when the average was higher than $1.7 million and the median was close to $1 million.

Inventory has declined, reports the Real Deal, and the Wall Street Journal says Manhattan is a star in the apartment market.

But my post (below) on Wednesday questions whether September has evolved into a healthier market.

FIVE NEW YORK NEIGHBORHOODS ARE AMONG NATION’S MOST COSTLY

The West Village’s 10014 Continue reading

Up 18% in a year, foreclosures fall 8% in a month

RealtyTrac reports that there were 306,627 default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions involving U.S. properties during November, a decrease of nearly 8 percent from October but still up 18 percent from November 2008.

The report also shows one in every 417 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in November. Continue reading