Weekly Roundup: Broker titles, celebs on the move, growing supply, reverse mortgages, the American Dream, boarding houses, and more

Next week’s Weekly Roundup will be the last until Sept. 6

Offering plans afford glimpse into pluses, minuses of lavish lifestyle in luxe buildings

Buyers snapping up Manhattan apartments 38 percent faster than last year, with UWS tightest market

Brokers still wrestling with new state rules on titles

Prices of Williamsburg condos plummeted in spring

First-half volume of investment properties leaps 41.3 percent over same time last year

One Picasso forsaking his walls

Lord of the Rings actor drops $1.075 million for gingerbread Victorian in Texas

Former NBA player lists California home for $2.795 million

Onetime TV detective, also actor who originated role of Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: ‘Insane’ market, rising prices, pronounced seasonality, surging sales, wasted electricity, 65,000-acre Quebec spread. . . more!

Next Weekly Roundup April 5

Bidding environment now ‘absolutely insane’

Contract activity soars above prior years, thereby confirming both item above and my Wednesday post

Prices soar 11 percent from January 2012

Prior to usual seasonal increase, February rents in Manhattan Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: NYC adjusted prices, SoHo’s highs, upward trending rates, $117M record price, houseplant pointers, recovery skeptics

Housing prices below 2008 peak, sales 21.8 percent lower than 2007 peak

But 2012 median lowest since 2004 adjusted for inflation

Beachfront houses wrecked by Sandy being sold ‘as is’

Assembly, Senate pass renewal of co-op/condo tax abatement

Building in Williamsburg tops list of 10 best-selling new developments in 2012

Region’s foreclosures tick up in November

Boerum Hill beats out Dumbo as Brooklyn’s top neighborhood, while SoHo and TriBeCa priciest in Manhattan during 2012

Maintenance fees now average $1.70 per square foot, up 30 percent since 2008

Lawsuit aims to collect rents paid by tenants citywide who live in apartments made uninhabitable after Sandy

Multi-talented writer finally does good all by himself in sale of $11.25 million Hollywood home

Brooklyn Nets guard makes successful $15.8 million play for Tribeca penthouse

Barbara visits Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Inventory stress, historic low rates, family matters, new kitchen trend. More!

State gives into developers’ concerns about requiring offering plans to be digitized

There is nothing like a closing

Long Island City is starting to turn the corner

Renters indirectly stuck with lion’s share of property taxes

Industry casts skeptical eye on real estate brokers serving on their building’s board

Real Deal tackles rent vs. buy by Manhattan neighborhoods

New kind of report slices and dices rents by neighborhood and building type

Although half of 2007′s peak, residential construction mushrooms

Inventory shortage is causing unseasonable stress

Some of the priciest apartments Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: U.S. stats sadden economists, Big Apple market seems stable, so much more!

Sales of luxury apartments buoy Manhattan market, suggesting Q3 reports will document ‘remarkable stability’

Before suing your co-op, it pays to get the facts right

Rents edge up again this month

But at least now you can find no-fee apartments on a cool map

Or check out a cool statistical infographic on our ‘city of renters’

Unless you have $1,600 to spare, think twice about renting out your apartment for less than a month

Seven tips for finding a great general contractor merit a look

Downtown Manhattan loft market is up a bit over 2007, the strongest full year in Manhattan residential real estate history, says broker/blogger Sandy Mattingly

In fraught market, buyers are still buying. . . with frayed nerves

The verdict is in: Only the most innocent buyers would fail to hire a lawyer for their purchase of property

Long Island mansion finally sells after high-profile owner hacks price

If he really collects 50% more than he paid in 2009 for his newly listed condo, this guy will be the stuff of legends

Still out of England, comedian Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Manhattan iffy, U.S. supply low

Making the case for buyers’ brokers, the Times calls it a ‘buddy system’

Empty for 19 years, Park Avenue apartment that Yugoslavia owned leaves much to be desired

You won’t find more households with roommates than in Williamsburg

Manhattan market slackens, but weakness may be only seasonal

In a co-op or condo that leaks, who pays?

Newly scheduled foreclosure auctions post 7 percent decline in August from a year earlier

Influential rabbi accused in $220,000 rent subsidy scheme of unprecedented size in city

Manhattan condo prices in June continue their gradual improvement, especially on the Upper West Side (pdf)

Buff designer finally moves from $15,000 monthly rental to townhouse that’s superior

Sculptor expands his horizons in Tribeca

Disgraced as congressman, he ditches his old Queens district for a rental in Greenwich Village

Actress gives up Canadian perch after break-up (2nd item)

Housing inventory hits this year’s low

10 cities are the worst Continue reading

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

June 28 auction date set for Brooklyn properties

1618 Union St.

Twenty-two single-family homes and five co-ops are to be auctioned by the King’s County public administrator on Tuesday, June 28 at 2 p.m.

The properties, which were owned by individuals who died without wills, have minimum bids ranging from a low of $65,000 to as much as $3.6 million.

Pictured below, the $3.6 million townhouse, which is in the heart of downtown Brooklyn across from the City Point development, went on the block last December with an upset price of $4 million.  There were no bidders.

In fact, the auction was lackluster, so other unsold properties that went on the block six months ago have reappeared as well.

However, 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