Out and About: Tip top an East Side condo is not

The little garden is lovely, the apartment at the top of fire escape not so.

Getting to the one-bedroom co-op on the Upper East Side means negotiating a passageway in an early 20th century building facing the street and entering a sweet little garden.  At the far side stands a three-story white clapboard house dating to the mid-19th Century.

There the charm ends.

The apartment is a one-bedroom unit up two flights of stairs with ceilings so low that I had to fight the urge to hunch over — and no one would mistake me for tall.

To many consumers, ceiling height is everything.  Many prospective buyers won’t even look at apartments that don’t exceed the legal minimum.  To quote the New York City Administrative Code, Continue reading

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Out and About: Bad karma exacts heavy price

Another unit in the same line of a Murray Hill condo that has been stigmatized by suicide.

The one-bedroom condo in Murray Hill was originally listed last August for $699,000.  Monthly common charges are $525 and real estate taxes $397.

The asking price was cut, pointlessly, to $690,000 in October and then two weeks later, to $679,000.

In early December, the apartment was taken off the market and now is back.

Before I bring you up to date on the reason for the gap, Continue reading

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