The Big Apple: Rentals hot, Hamptons too. More!

Employment posts gain in June, but jobless rate continues to stall

The city’s unemployment rate in June went to 8.7 percent from May’s 8.6 percent, the state Department of Labor reported.

The one-month rise was not itself a significant increase, but after falling consistently each month for nearly a year starting last spring, there have now been four consecutive months without a noticeable decline in the city’s jobless rate.

Most of the drop in the rate from its 10 percent peak has come not from significant job gains but as a result of discouraged job seekers leaving the work force.

The city added 51,400 private sector jobs in the 12 months ending in June. The 1.6 percent growth rate, “is pretty good by historical standards,” according to James Brown, principal economist at the labor department.

Rental rigmarole challenges prospective tenants

With a vacancy rate in Manhattan of under 1 percent, apartments sometimes rent in hours, not days or weeks. Good tenants are not that hard to find. On top of that, evicting problem tenants can be expensive and time-consuming.

So, as the New York Times observes, most landlords here require a lot of information.

They want to see a prospective tenant’s tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, proof of employment, photo identification and, sometimes, reference letters from previous landlords.

Everyone will run a credit check (many Manhattan landlords look for a score above 700) and just about all, from big management firms to small-time landlords, want to know that your gross income is somewhere between 40 and 50 times the monthly rent.

Luxury sales in the East End Continue reading

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Four more reasons to worry about our market

Aside from my continuing concerns about the global economy, unemployment rate, Washington’s paralysis and other usual reasons for wondering when the Manhattan housing market will be safely in recovery, four new sets of data have fed my uncertainty.

What first graphically contributed to my doubts was a shopping expedition on Sunday, a sensationally gorgeous day when saner folks might have headed to the beach.

Despite the lure of the outdoors, Reason 1 for my current thinking centers on Continue reading

The Big Apple: CPW sale turns tidy profit. More!

She who hesitates hardly is lost

Mildred Furiya bought her townhouse in Brooklyn for $16,000 in 1966 with a cash gift from her father. Now she plans to list the dwelling for approximately $1.895 million.

A sale at that price would represent an 11,744 percent increase over 45 years — or an annual return of about 11 percent, says the New York Times.

Numbers cruncher says he’s bullish on Manhattan

Manhattan just doesn’t behave like the rest of the country Continue reading

The Big Apple: Median price grew most here

My coverage of New York City news likely will be sporadic over the next couple of weeks, but please do check here to catch up with important developments or perhaps my idle musings.

BANKS STRUGGLE TO SEIZE HOMES, MORE SO IN NEW YORK THAN ANYWHERE ELSE

It takes longer to foreclose on homes in New York than in any other state—and it’s getting longer every month.

Two years ago, the state began requiring that banks and borrowers attend settlement conferences before a foreclosure takes place.

While the conferences are popular with borrowers and have succeeded in helping some families keep their homes, banks have been reluctant to participate. That, and recent revelations that some lenders have improperly submitted foreclosure documents, has prompted judges to take a harsher stance with lenders.

CUOMO IS UNRELENTING ON PLEDGE TO CAP PROPERTY TAXES

Gov.-elect Andrew M. Cuomo is making clear to legislative leaders that one of his priorities is to cap local property taxes, a notion that would have large consequences statewide for homeowners and school districts.

Take my refrigerator, please, as the eighth item below suggests. No, not YOU! (Flickr photo by Tammy Green)

Cuomo is proposing a limit on the total amount of property tax dollars that can be collected annually by a school district, municipality or special district by capping the increase in the local tax levy at 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less, according to his campaign literature.  Schools traditionally receive the largest share of property taxes.

A cap would not directly affect New York City, where property taxes are relatively low because of revenue from the city’s personal income tax and where the schools are financed through the general city budget. But outside the city, New York is among the most heavily taxed states in the country.

D’YA THINK THIS NOMAD MIGHT HAVE A BOOK OR MOVIE DEAL IN THE BACK OF HIS MIND OR HIGHEST OF HIS HOPES?

Ed Casabian’s nomadic existence Continue reading

The Big Apple: Village townhouse is auctioned. More!

GREENWICH VILLAGE TOWNHOUSE IS SOLD IN MINUTES

It took only three minutes, from 6:19 p.m. to 6:21 p.m., for the successful bidder to spend $6.634 million at a court-ordered auction yesterday of a Greenwich Village townhouse that had been listed at $9.95 million not long ago.

“I’m very happy with the price I paid,” said the affable bidder, 51, Continue reading

Why isn’t a bevy of buyers biting the bullet?

 

The yellow line represents the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage from October 1970 until now. (Reproduced with the permission of Mortgage-X.com)

As almost everyone knows, there was a time that mortgage rates soared into the high teens.  I remember it well.

With interest rates as low as they are, I’ve been wondering why buyers in Manhattan aren’t eager to snap up properties with funds borrowed at record lows.  Taking into account government subsidies in the form of tax deductions, how could this fourth quarter’s activity be so relatively sluggish?  (It is, though the Q3 reports may lead you to believe otherwise.)

A poll in yesterday’s New York Times and an account of Ben Bernanke’s big speech last Friday provided me with some insight. Continue reading

Weekly roundup of news you don’t want to miss

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 another of today’s three posts.

FASHION LUMINARY BUYS A NICE LITTLE CONDO FOR HIS SON AND FRIENDS

BOUNCY BABE AND BARE-ALL BEAU BUY BIG APPLE BASE

THIS WAS ONE ANTIQUE THAT COULDN’T BE PRICED ON ANY ROAD BUT CPW

THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM FOR THIS WINNING COMPOSER

‘JUNIOR’ STAR CRIES ‘UNCLE’ IN RELISTING HIS CO-OP

MOVING TO THE SUBURBS FROM AN UWS TOWNHOUSE NOW STRIKES CHORD WITH MUSICIAN



MISMANAGEMENT OF FORECLOSURE DOCUMENTS COULD AID REAL ESTATE RECOVERY

PACE OF PRICE INCREASES EASED FOR SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES IN JULY, CASE-SHILLER REPORTS
(3 links)

30-YEAR RATE TIES LOW AS 15-YEAR SETS RECORD Continue reading