Archive for July, 2013

The proposed 91st Street Marine Transfer Station continues to draw protests as neighbors fear noxious fumes and dangerous heavy traffic through their neighborhood.  Pledge2Protect produced this video describing some of the dangers facing the neighbors of this transfer station.


Excerpted from Curbed NY article


Comments Comments Off

In the News July 28, 2013

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off

07/11/13 Douglas Elliman Releases 2QTR 2013 Brooklyn Sales Report:  The Brooklyn housing market continued to experience limited levels of new inventory coming to the market. In fact, the spring market marked the lowest inventory in seven years and as a result, sales slipped and prices pushed to 10-year highs. The market moved at a faster pace with shorter marketing times and smaller discounts from list price. We do not expect significant improvement in re-sale inventory to enter the market in the coming quarters, which will keep the pressure on the market.  See the full report at 

7/11/13 Douglas Elliman Releases 2QTR 2013 Queens Sales Report:  The Queens housing market had the lowest inventory total in five years, but sales continued to rise. The faster pace of the market is resulting in some upward price pressure. Despite the limited supply, we didn’t see much change in market times or negotiability between buyers and sellers. As buyers in Manhattan and Brooklyn seek out affordability, we anticipate Queens to be one of the primary beneficiaries of this trend.  See the full report at

7/11/13 Douglas Elliman Releases 2QTR 2013 Westchester & Putnam Sales Report:  The Westchester housing market has experienced the most active second quarter in 8 years. Inventory continued to fall, reaching an 8-year low for the spring market. With a brisk pace of signed contracts in the second quarter, we expected a high level of closings in the next quarter and limited new inventory to enter the market. However, the shortage of supply has only caused a slight gain in prices. We see rising interest rates as a sign of an improving economy and anticipate continued improvement through the rest of the year.  See the full report at

7/16/13  Residents Sound Off About Planned East Side Esplanade Makeover:  The Rockefeller University’s plan to improve a neglected public park along the river as part of a campus revamp has some neighborhood residents worried the overhaul will destroy the East River Esplanade.    See the full article at DNA 

7/18/13  Douglas Elliman Releases 2QTR 2013 Miami Sales Report: The Miami housing market pushed ahead with more sales than during any other quarter over the past seven years.  Inventory continued to fall, causing prices to rise across most property types. Cash purchases remain an important driver of the market accounting for about three fourths of all condo sales. An improving regional economy as well as heavy international demand and a strong relationship with New York consumers is expected to keep the market moving over the next several quarters.  See the full report at

7/18/13 Douglas Elliman Releases 2QTR 2013 Boca Raton Sales Report:  Boca Raton experienced a large drop in supply over the past year keeping the pressure up on housing prices.  Little relief from low inventory is expected soon. Despite the decline in inventory, sales have been rising as marketing times have been falling. Cash remains a distinct advantage for buyers competing for fewer listings accounting for two thirds of all sales. We expect the current conditions to continue through the remainder of the year.  See the full report at

7/18/13 Douglas Elliman Releases 2QTR 2013 Fort Lauderdale Sales Report:  Fort Lauderdale is experiencing falling inventory. The lack of supply placed pressure on prices as the average size of a sale slipped a bit from last year. Sales of condos and single family homes reached their highest total in over seven years and cash purchases accounted for nearly two thirds of all sales. We anticipate these conditions to characterize the market over the coming quarters.  See the full report at

7/18/13 Douglas Elliman Releases 2QTR 2013 Palm Beach Sales Report:  Palm Beach showed some of the largest price increases in the region caused mainly by the lack of inventory.  The supply of homes fell steadily over the past year but the second quarter had the most sales of any spring market since 2008.  Price increases in the luxury market outpaced the overall market with the addition of many larger-sized sales. Without near term relief from low inventory, we expect more of the same tight market conditions throughout the year.  See the full report at

7/25/13 Douglas Elliman Releases 2 QTR 2013 Long Island Sales Report:  With the combination of rising sales and falling inventory, the Long Island housing market had the fastest market pace we’ve seen since 2005. As housing prices have begun to rise, we are now seeing signs of new supply entering the market, a relief for buyers. Interest rates started to increase at the end of the quarter and are expected to keep the market from getting overheated over the next few quarters.  See the full report at

7/25/13 Douglas Elliman Releases 2QTR 2013 Hamptons Sales Report:   The Hamptons housing market had the most active spring since 2006. There were a lot more sales and inventory continued to fall keeping the upward pressure on the housing prices. With fewer choices for buyers, we saw properties sell slightly faster with less negotiation between buyers and sellers. We expect more of the same tight conditions over the next several quarters.  See the full report at

7/25/13 Douglas Elliman Releases North Fork Sales Report:  The housing market in the North Fork behaved much as it’s neighbors to the south.  There were more sales this quarter along with less inventory and prices are beginning to rise.  An improving economy and concerns about rising interest rates brought a lot of buyers into the market even though credit remained tight. Overall it was an encouraging spring and we look forward to a stronger market for the remainder of the year.  See the full report on

Comments Comments Off

Douglas Elliman released the June 2013 report for Manhattan & Brooklyn Residential Rental Markets.  The June 2013 Elliman Report for the Manhattan & Brooklyn Rental Markets reported here and summarized below was prepared by Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman.


“The rate of rental price growth is beginning to show signs that the pace seen over the past two years might not be sustained”


  • After two months of slowing price growth in Brooklyn, there was a jump in rental prices for June, the largest gain in nearly a year. The rise in rents was consistent across all sizes. Properties are taking somewhat longer for landlords to rent and negotiability was basically unchanged from this time last year. Similarly to Manhattan, we don’t see much weakness in the direction of rental prices over the coming year.
  • There wasn’t much relief for Manhattan renters in June. Median price edged up slightly as rents remained at high levels and landlord concessions such as free rent were rare. Although negotiability remained unchanged, it is taking a bit longer than last year for landlords to rent their apartments. We don’t see much change on the horizon as tight credit and rising employment are expected to continue over the next year.

Douglas Elliman released the September 2013 report for Manhattan & Brooklyn Residential Rental Markets.  The September 2013 Elliman Report for the Manhattan & Brooklyn Rental Markets reported here and summarized below was prepared by Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman.

“The heavy Manhattan sales volume siphoned off some of the excess demand in the rental market causing prices to slip.”M&B_rentals_09-2013

 After more than two years of rising rents, Manhattan prices slipped a bit as compared to last year. Rents haven’t been rising as quickly as they did in the previous year and the mortgage rate jump last spring pulled many would-be renters into the sales market by the end of the summer. Landlord concessions continued to be rare, but tenants continued to resist rent increases at the time of lease renewal by seeking better affordability if it could be found. With rising mortgage rates and tight credit we expect rents to remain at a plateau for the coming quarters.

  • Median rental price slipped 3.1% to $3,095 from the same period last year. This was the first year-over-year decline since June 2011, as heavy sales volume pulled more renters into the purchase market, incentivized by concerns over rising mortgage rates. The use of concessions by landlords remained limited to 2.7% of new rentals, averaging a 1.2-month rental equivalent.


Brooklyn rental prices continued to rise at a fast pace reaching their highest level in five years. Marketing times were faster and there was limited negotiation of list price. An increasing number of renters challenged by higher prices were seeking out affordability rather than renewal. We expect this trend to continue into next year.

  • Median rental price increased 10.4% to $2,800 from prior year levels, second only to the prior month which had been a 5-year high.


The Pitfalls of a Financing Contingency in a Hot Market

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off


The New York City real estate market is heating up, and financing contingencies are becoming less common.  According to Jerry Feeney, Residential Real Estate Attorney in Manhattan, there are some common mistakes that could put buyers or sellers in a compromised position.

Loan to Value Ratio is too low:  Sometimes in the negotiation, a seller will agree to provide a financing contingency only if the buyer pays a larger down payment, decreasing the maximum loan to value (LTV) that the buyer is permitted under the contingency language.  But that’s not always the smart move.  Typically, the lower the LTV, the better chance the buyer has to qualify for the loan.  But forcing the LTV too low could give the buyer a way out of the contract.

For example, the buyer is pre-qualified for 80% of the value of the apartment.  The bank has checked his credit, history, and reserves and is confident that he will be approved.  But if the LTV is 70% which may make it more likely he could get the loan, but in reality causes his reserves to drop that could get him rejected.  The buyer has an option to terminate the deal at the end of the contingency period and get his down payment back.

Appraisal Issues:  The typical financing contingency implies that the property will appraise at the full contract value.   However in the recovering market, appraisals often don’t keep up.  Bidding wars  escalate prices and the most recent comparables will not support them.    The Seller’s counsel should advise them to include an “appraisal window” which holds the buyer to the contract notwithstanding a low appraisal.

Signing the Non-Conforming Commitment:   A commitment letter conditioned on the appraisal does not satisfy the contingency language until the appraisal is completed at full value, and accepted by the bank.  But beware; the standard form condominium contract waives this language if the buyer accepts the non-conforming commitment letter (by accidentally signing it)!  Make sure your lawyer reviews all documents before you sign it.


Excerpted from Jerry’s Legal Tips by Jerry M Feeney Esq.


is post is provided as informational proposes only and should not be construed as legal, accounting or tax advice by the RealEstateGeezer. You should seek advice from a qualified professional.

Comments Comments Off

It is particularly interesting to note that the controversial East Side  Marine Transfer Station near Asphalt Green  is precariously located in the most dangerous flood zone.

Recently FEMA released new flood maps in the wake of Super storm Sandy.    When Sandy hit last October, according to the 1983 map, only 218,000 residents, 36,000 buildings and 377 UES_Flood_Map_Evacuationmillion square feet of built area was in the high-risk floodplain.  The most updated maps show 400,000 New York City residents living in the flood plain and about 270,000 working in areas now considered high risk for dangerous flooding.

Legend_Flood_MapOfficials warn that flooding could get worse.  The maps are developed from historical data and do not consider climate changes that could raise the sea level or increase heavy downpours.

Mayor Bloomberg outlined recommendations for protecting New York City from future hurricanes, heat waves, droughts, cold events and torrential rains.  He expects that by mid-century up to 1/4 of all of the City’s land area will be in the floodplain, affecting some 800,000 residents.

You’ll find the interactive flood map here. See also the FEMA Fact sheet


Excerpted from Crain’s New York



How’s the Market? June 2013 and 2nd Quarter 2013

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off

While Quarterly Sales Reports show closed activity for the previous quarter, monthly Contract Signed reports are the ‘crystal ball’ of closed sales to come.  Granted, all contracts signed for any given month may not close in the next month, and some may not close at all but most (over 95%) will become closed sales which will become part of the next Quarterly Sales Report.

In the following charts and graphs you can see how the market stacks up against last month and this month last year.




The following charts show activity over the 2nd Quarter 2013 compared to 1st Quarter 2013 and 2nd Quarter 2012





Elliman Releases Second Quarter Manhattan Sales Report

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off

Douglas Elliman released the Second Quarter report for Manhattan Residential Co-op and Condo sales market.  The Manhattan Sales Quarterly Survey of Co-op & Condo Sales for 2Q-2013 reported here  and summarized below was prepared by Miller Samuelfor Douglas Elliman.

“The second quarter Manhattan housing market showed a continued decline in inventory, but a jump in sales activity as prices rose modestly.”2QTR_Manhattan_Sales

  • Median sales price expanded 4.3% to $865,000 from the same period last year.
  • Average sales price edged up 1.2% to $1,425,403 and price per square foot increased 7.9% to $1,149 over the same period.
  • The number of sales jumped 18.8% to 3,144 sales from the prior year quarter, the highest spring housing market sales total since 2007.
  • The number of listings fell 31.3% to 4,795 from the prior year quarter, the lowest recorded second quarter total in the 12 years of this report series.
  • Listing discount, the percentage difference between the list price at time of contract and the contract price, fell to 2.7% from 5.1% in the prior year quarter.
  • Days on market, the number of days from the last price change to the contract price, expanded by 13 days to 178 days, as languishing listings are selling off.