Weekly Roundup: NYC condos, U.S. inventory, all-time low rates, Airbnb, pet furniture, most diverse metros, housing forecasts and much more

Brownstones increasingly go mod

Number of new listings of new condos turns up in Manhattan along with prices there and in Brooklyn, Queens

Causing 15 percent increase in materials and monopolizing workers, Sandy raises construction costs

Buyers of lower Manhattan apartments so far unmoved by storm

Rents continue to climb as vacancies reach 32-month high, and biggest October increases hit smaller units

Report suggests that multiple bids for renovations may encourage homeowners to overpay

And don’t expect financing for renovations to be a breeze

Five brokers investigated on complaints that they demanded extra fees from HIV renters

Region remains least-affordable major housing market in nation

Foreclosure filings surge in metro area, more than anywhere else

With her Georgia home foreclosed, she has reason to sing the blues

Media mogul pays record $54 million Continue reading


Weekly Roundup: Wall Street’s impact spreads, musicians move on, bottom glimpsed, prices weak, builders beat forecasts, lowballing fails

Manhattan agents confident about city, but Wall Street’s labor pains may hit suburbs harder

The Edge tops list of new developments with most condo sales in first quarter

New listings search site is nice to users

Refusing to hear case, Supreme Court ensures continuation of rent stabilization

The bind that renters endure is tie that’s tight or liberating

Bedbug complaints Continue reading

The High Road: ‘Renovated’ is like grade inflation

To paraphrase Crocodile Dundee, that’s what I call a renovation. (Flickr photo by Zusjes Weblog)

In the incendiary days of our overheated market just four or five years ago, you couldn’t give away renovated properties.

Flush with Wall Street largesse, seemingly all buyers wanted to impose their own taste on any apartment or townhouse they considered.  So what if it took wads of cash, endless frustration and overwhelmingly large pools of patience?

Buyers wanted to do their own thing.

Those days are pretty much in past, and I imagine they’ll be back.  But the properties that sell quickest of late Continue reading


Weekly Roundup: Q4 sales tumble in the Big Apple, U.S. sales slide, rates match record low

Sales down in Q4, prices about even

Can any other condo top this?

Board turndowns become all the rage

Yes! You can suffocate the bug(gers), but at a cost

The Financial District is up and Murray Hill is down

Inflexible dog policy can bite co-ops back

While NYC residential lending is loosening in some corners, the industry is moving slowly in its recovery

Four renovation surprises that can cost a bundle

Region’s foreclosure rates leap in October

Taxes on property sales dropped to $982 million in 2010 from $3.3 billion in 2007

The Times answers questions about co-op sponsors, smoking and the sale of common areas

Weight-loss guru trims price of southern California home for kin

Bunny is hopping off her private Cape Cod island

Former NFL chief Continue reading


The Big Apple: Schools, smoke, slides and more

If you can’t beat them, you don’t have to let bedbugs join you

Adam Greenberg, president of USBedBugs.com, one of the country’s largest online retailers of anti-bedbug gear, tells BrickUnderground.com that, in comparison with the rest of the nation, New Yorkers are “ahead of the curve” on knowing what to do about bedbugs.  Says he:

“Therefore, New Yorkers are both more hands-on in the products they buy for monitoring and treatment of bedbugs and also more proactive at purchasing prevention items like mattress encasements and travel protectors.”

Because almost everyone knows someone who has experienced bedbugs by now, they know the value of the prevention items, Greenberg explains.

Topping his list of 10 preventative items purchased are luggage and clothing encasements–that is, containers for containers.  For the other nine, visit BrickUnderground.

New Web site points to best public schools using your maximum price to purchase or rent

SchoolFisher.com is for New Yorkers “who want Continue reading


Weekly Roundup: Some markets declined too far

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.

She’s once again curbing enthusiasm for her Upper West Side apartment

In one broad stroke, he’s unloaded his chichi co-op at a huge discount

Big ideas pay off handsomely for one smart fella

Underpriced, his house under contract in the Hamptons gives him reason to cheer

Quarterback collects $17.5 million for condo that cost him $14 million five years ago

Mortgage insurer says home prices are below fundamental values Continue reading


Out and About: Renovations explain price differences

A broker at his open house recently shared with me what he believes is an effective pricing subtlety. Frankly, I can’t disagree with him.

For Blaise, the pitch better be low. (Flickr photo by clappstar)

When it comes to pricing apartments that don’t demand renovation, about which more below, Richard has learned that buyers are none too likely to lowball their offers.

However, with apartments that need work, said he, they invariably cut their offers significantly below the asking price.

The listing he was holding open that Sunday was a prime example. In the mid 70s on the Upper West Side, the co-op had a price of approximately $2 million. Continue reading