Archive for Baby Boomers

Douglas Elliman released the Third Quarter report for Manhattan Residential Co-op and Condo sales market.  The Manhattan Sales Quarterly Survey of Co-op & Condo Sales for 3Q-2014 reported here and summarized below was prepared by Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman.

 “Manhattan housing prices continued to rise in the third quarter.  Rising inventory remained inadequate to meet the high level of demand”

3QTR Manhattan Sales

  •  The supply and demand imbalance has begun to push housing prices higher. Median sales price rose 4.2% to $908,242 from the same period last year. As a result of the shift towards more 3-bedroom and 4-bedroom sales, the overall average sales price jumped 17.4% to $1,684,729 from the prior year quarter.
  • The monthly absorption rate, the number of months to sell all inventory at the current rate of sales, increased to 5.3 months from the prior year record low of 3.6 months. As a result of limited supply and fast market pace, 49.2% of all transactions were sold at or above list price at time of sale.
  • Despite the third consecutive quarter with a year-over-year rise in listing inventory, supply remains 16.1% below the 14-year third quarter average of 6,957. Listing inventory jumped 27.6% to 5,828 from the prior year quarter, with a much larger increase seen with condos than co-ops.
  • Days on market, the average number of days to sell all apartments that closed during the quarter, expanded by 4 days to 92 days, marking the second fastest marketing time in 15 years.
  • Listing discount, the average percentage difference between the listing price at the time of sale and the sales price fell to 1.1% from 2% in the year ago quarter.

Douglas Elliman released the Third Quarter report for Manhattan Residential Co-op and Condo sales market.  The Manhattan Sales Quarterly Survey of Co-op & Condo Sales for 3Q-2013 reported here  and summarized below was prepared by Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman.

 

“The third quarter was a period of records and near records as sales surged and inventory fell sharply.”

Manhattan_Sales_3QTR_2013

Our third quarter housing market was one of the most active in decades. Manhattan experienced the second highest number of sales in more than 24 years and the most sales in six years. Our agents helped buyers navigate rising mortgage rates, bidding wars and the lowest inventory in 13 years. It’s an exciting period for our real estate market as we look forward to continued improvement into the next year.

  • The 3,837 sales in the third quarter were 30% above last year’s total and second highest only to 3,939 in the second quarter of 2007.
  • Listing inventory dropped 21.9% to 4,567 from the prior year quarter, the lowest since it was tracked in 2000.
  • The sales share of 1-bedroom apartments reached 40.5%, a 15-year high as co-op sales expanded to 62% share 9-year high. The shift to lower priced units in response to rising rates caused overall median sales price to slip 2% although individually, co-op and condo median sales price rose 0.8% and 3.7% year-over-year.
  • Days on the market, the number of days from the last price change to the contract price, collapsed to 88 days from 191 days in the prior year quarter. The elevated year ago level reflected the absorption of languishing older listings as inventory began to fall sharply.
  • Listing discount, the percentage difference between the list price at time of sale and the sales price, fell sharply to 2% from 7.2% in the prior year quarter.

Dec
18

Where will Baby Boomers live?

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Roughly 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day.  Born between 1946 and 1964, there are an estimated 72 Million American baby boomers, all considering how to age and where. 

In a new book “Unassisted Living:  Ageless Homes for Later Life” (Monacelli Press; $45) Wid Chapman, Architect, and Jeffrey P. Rosenfeld, a gerontologist specializing in the relationship between aging and the built environment collected 33 examples of residences that have been designed to bridge the distance between ‘one’s vital and declining years’.

Design features such as lack of thresholds at doors, surfaces that diffuse sunlight and accessible bathrooms and showers all contribute to a house suitable for aging.  Almost minimalist by design, the less-cluttered, more open pathways and fewer places to slip or bump into furniture are key.   By removing tripping hazards and streamlining the design, accessibility is achieved.

Today’s baby boomers want to remain independent as long as possible.  The whole idea of retirement is changing.  Technology allows people to combine leisure and work from a remote setting.  Gone is the idea of going south at a specified age.  Connection to family, grandchildren, parents are keeping people in one area rather than becoming snow birds and migrating south.

 

From New York Times article on November 24, 2011 by Julie Lasky

Categories : Baby Boomers
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The IRS earlier this month released the new form that eligible homebuyers need to claim the first-time homebuyer credit this tax season and announced processing of those tax returns will begin in mid-February. The IRS also announced new documentation requirements to deter fraud related to the first-time homebuyer credit.

The new form and instructions follow major changes in November to the homebuyer credit by the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009. The new law extended the credit to a broader range of home purchasers and added new documentation requirements to deter fraud and ensure taxpayers properly claim the credit.

With the release of Form 5405, First-Time Homebuyer Credit and Repayment of the Credit, and the related instructions, eligible homebuyers can now start to file their 2009 tax returns. Taxpayers claiming the homebuyer credit must file a paper tax return because of the added documentation requirements.

The IRS expects to start processing 2009 tax returns claiming the homebuyer credit in mid-February after it completes the updating and testing of systems to meet the law’s new requirements. The updates allow the IRS to put in place critical systemic checks to deter fraud related to the homebuyer credit.

Some of these early taxpayers claiming the homebuyer credit may see tax refunds take an additional two to three weeks.

In addition to filling out a Form 5405, all eligible homebuyers must include with their 2009 tax returns one of the following documents in order to receive the credit:

  • A copy of the settlement statement showing all parties’ names and signatures, property address, sales price, and date of purchase. Normally, this is the properly executed Form HUD-1, Settlement Statement.
  • For a newly constructed home where a settlement statement is not available, a copy of the certificate of occupancy showing the owner’s name, property address and date of the certificate.

In addition, the new law allows a long-time resident of the same main home to claim the homebuyer credit if they purchase a new principal residence. To qualify, eligible taxpayers must show that they lived in their old homes for a five-consecutive-year period during the eight-year period ending on the purchase date of the new home. The IRS has stepped up compliance checks involving the homebuyer credit, and it encouraged homebuyers claiming this part of the credit to avoid refund delays by attaching documentation covering the five-consecutive-year period:

  • Form 1098, Mortgage Interest Statement, or substitute mortgage interest statements,
  • Property tax records or
  • Homeowner’s insurance records.

The IRS also reminded homebuyers that the new documentation requirements mean that taxpayers claiming the credit cannot file electronically and must file paper returns. Taxpayers can still use IRS Free File to prepare their returns, but the returns must be printed out and sent to the IRS, along with all required documentation.

Normally, it takes about four to eight weeks to get a refund claimed on a complete and accurate paper return where all required documents are attached. For those homebuyers filing early, the IRS expects the first refunds based on the homebuyer credit will be issued toward the end of March.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to use direct deposit to speed their refund. In addition, taxpayers can use Where’s My Refund? on IRS.gov to track the status of their refund.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkzB03uuGlg

More details on claiming the credit can be found in the instructions to Form 5405, as well as on the First-Time Homebuyer Credit page on IRS.gov.

Jan
20

The Good Old Days

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Someone sent this to us. Can you relate?

1974: KEG
2009: EKG

1974: Acid rock
2009: Acid reflux

1974: Moving to California because it’s cool
2009: Moving to California because it’s warm

1974: Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor
2009: Trying NOT to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor

1974: Seeds and stems
2009: Roughage

1974: Hoping for a BMW
2009: Hoping for a BM

1974: The Grateful Dead
2009: Dr. Kevorkian

1974: Going to a new, hip joint
2009  Receiving a new hip joint

1974: Rolling Stones
2009: Kidney Stones

1974: Being called into the principal’s office
2009: Calling the principal’s office

1974: Screw the system
2009: Upgrade the system

1974: Disco
2009: Costco

1974: Parents begging you to get your hair cut
2009: Children begging you to get their heads shaved

1974: Passing the drivers’ test
2009: Passing the vision test

1974: Whatever
2009: Depends

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Jan
11

Back On The Market

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Thanks to the many friends, clients, customers and readers for showing your concern for my apparent absence from posting to the Real Estate Geezer.

As Boomers and DINKs, my wife and I have been fortunate enough to celebrate the holidays this year with my dad 84, my aunt who is 100 and my wife’s mom who is 94 years old.

But some things had changed. In early December 2009 my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and my aunt, although physically “healthy”, began having more difficulty walking, severe memory problems, and because caring for herself had become impossible she needed around-the-clock assistance.

Becoming a caregiver for our loved ones takes a lot of adjustment. Dealing with their doctors, Medicare, working with the pharmacies and the nurses’ aids is daunting and very time consuming. The emotional strain and the role reversal, if you will, as well as the financial aspects of getting old, made my wife and I look into ourselves, face our mortality and wonder what our lives will be like when we reach their age and have similar medical problems.

All this with the backdrop of the health care reform bill now coursing its way through congress. I must say, from what I understand, the bill does nothing to ease the financial and emotional strain of what millions of Boomers will be facing in the very near future. More on this when I actually get to read what the House/Senate reconciliation committees finally agree on — behind closed doors.

Well I’m back now. Back on the real estate market, so to speak. There is an order to things. My aunt’s nurses and Dad’s chemo therapy are scheduled. I give a wake up call to my father every day, bring him his breakfast, the morning newspaper and arrange his medication. And if he feels good that day perhaps we go for a short walk. I pick up my aunt’s mail give her a hug and hope she remembers who I am that day. Then I head to work.

Things make more sense now. Reading the New York Times blog The New Old Age has been very helpful. I feel less alone now. The support of the neighborhood and city infrastructure can be very reassuring. For example, The Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, only a half block from our apartment and where I was an after-school and day camp member over 50 years ago, was so helpful in assisting my dad and I in getting him Medicare drug coverage. They continue to offer invaluable help with assisted living ideas for my aunt and perhaps the eventual hospice care for both of them. And on good days, when both dad and aunt get out their apartments, they can visit with their friends at the senior center and have some lunch.

We’re lucky to live within four or five blocks of each other. We love our doormen who are an important part of our extended family. They show genuine concern,  hold the elevator when dad is walking a bit slow,  and even help us get a cab when the wind and snow make it difficult for even the sure footed to get around. They are just really nice! We love New York City because of the convenience, and yes, the small-own feel of the neighborhoods.  We’re thankful for Fresh Direct and the convenience of being steps away from almost anything you may ever need or want.

I’ll file this under Boomers and will continue to update this story from time to time. If any of you are having similar experience, or just need some support or someone to speak with, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ll be more than happy to help in anyway I can.

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Fed housing credit?

Fed housing credit?

Local media has been commenting since last August that New Yorkers seem to be blasé about the Recovery Package offer of $8,000 toward a new home. However, it was so popular nationally that Congress has extended that, and added a $6,500 offer for current owners who move.

Well, I wouldn’t pass it up if I were in the home market right now, and put my team to work finding out what you might buy with that free cash. Some new furniture and décor are obvious choices, and almost everyone needs something for their new home.

Or you could use it for other kinds of fun. Given my favorite pastimes, I might figure out how many lovely restaurant meals I could savor, including cuisine hot spots my wife and I usually reserve for special occasions.

But you have many other options. For about $600 to $1,600 you could score a pair of trendy Christian Louboutin shoes or boots at Saks, which offers 96 choices at your fingertips. Or there’s the current Prada event with hot items coming up, now available for pre-orders. While at Sak’s you could also pick up a steal on men’s watches, such as Breil Milano’s stainless steel chronograph strap watch at $1,250.

Or how about a Hermes bag? For classic Hermes, you can’t go wrong with the Birkin bag, starting at $6,000. Here’s a entire blog dedicated to the Birkin.

Here’s a tidbit from a local fashion blog: “Katie Holmes & Suri: Spotted on Madison Avenue of New York, little Suri had her own pint-sized version of Mom’s orange Hermes shopping bag. Later on, Katie was seen with a rare burgundy Garden Party Handbag that looked more like a boarding bag. The Hermes handbag offset her black pencil skirt and red heels. With all the goodies that could be stuffed into that spacious bag, Holmes was ready for anything.” The Evelyne, starting a bit under $2,500, is très chic now.

You can toast your new home with a rare champagne.  Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1993 is just $399.00 per 750 ml. bottle, limited to one per customer at Astor Wines.  Salon Blanc de Blanc, Le Mesnil – 1997 is more expensive at $459.99, but in greater supply.  You can buy a case of 6 for $2621.94.

Does your new co-op or condo allow pooches?  How about using your savings for today’s most expensive, pure bred, a Samoyed, starting at $3,000 or an English Bulldog at around $2,500.  On the other hand, if you adopt a nice homeless puppy from a shelter approved by the Humane Society, you’ll have lots of money to buy dog food and a really fancy collar, $18 and up from wwww.muttropolis.com.

And let’s not forget the sports fans.  How about season tickets to the Yankees next year?  Despite the World Series victory, top prices will actually decline, with field level seats at $250 per game for season ticket holders, down from $325 this year.

How much more stimulated could you get?  Check out my November 2 post  for housing stimulus dates and details. Go, Feds!

Buyers who can pay in full in cash for their co-op or condo apartments are in the driver’s seat.  Right now, being able to offer a seller a sure thing – with no surprises on the way to closing – will go a long way to assuring you of negotiating the best possible deal.

Pair some flexibility with cash, and you’ve got the magic ingredients of what I call FLASH.  Being flexible means being open to the seller’s needs in terms of setting the closing date – being ready to close immediately or allowing ample time for the seller to find a new home rather than demanding a quick move – offering to take care of needed repairs or accommodate the start of a school year.   With FLASH, you’ll find that the door to your new home is open, ready and waiting.

If you’re like most people – who can’t afford a full-cash sale – you can still find yourself in the “most attractive buyer” finals.  If you have great credit and can put down at least 20% on a jumbo conforming mortgage (up to $729,750 in New York), or at least 30% for higher mortgages, you’ll still set setting hearts aflutter.  Pre-qualifying for an adequate mortgage is a fabulous move to round out your VIP buyer profile

1 -The Numbers

  • Manhattan residential real estate has performed better than the broader U.S. real estate market.
  • Compared with losses of more than 40% for Los Angeles and San Francisco over the past few years, Miller Samuel reports in the third quarter 2009 Manhattan Residential Market Overview that the average price per square foot in Manhattan was $996 vs. $1289 as reported in the first quarter of 2008 , a price reduction of 23% from the peak.
  • Third-quarter 2009 data show prices declined at a lower rate while transaction volume surged 46%, a sign that the Manhattan market is starting to find its bottom.
  • As Donald Trump once said “It’s a water thing”. Manhattan is a landlocked island. While developers in most cities keep expanding outward, developers in Manhattan do not have this alternative.
  • Wall Street firms are expected to pay a record $140 billion in bonuses this year according to The Wall Street Journal. Regardless of whether these bankers deserve their lavish bonuses, their payday will boost Manhattan real estate prices.

2 -Capital of the World

  • Manhattan is a global must-see destination. Emerging markets like Brazil and China are creating wealth at a very high rate and churning out millionaires.
  • New York is often the first international destination new millionaires from emerging countries want to visit. It’s also one of the first places where they want to buy investment property or a pied-a-terre.

3- Diversity of Industry

  • Besides finance, New York has media, hospitality, advertising and professional services like law and accounting firms. These industries will be serving emerging-market economies and will benefit the local New York economy in terms of job creation and housing demand.
  • If not for the diversity of the current New York City economy, the unemployment rate would be even higher than 10.3% that was reported in August.
  • Sectors like education, health, leisure and hospitality have gained jobs, which partly offset the negative impact of the financial job losses.

4 -Quality of Life

  • New York City is one of the safest cities in the US.
  • The legal system is established and there is a better work-life balance compared with countries like China.
  • Transportation in Manhattan via the Subway system is efficient and reduces commuting time for those living in Manhattan.
  • The air in Manhattan is pristine compared to air in other global metropolises like Hong Kong.

Portions excerpted from NuWireInvestor reporting on a story written by Wei Min Tan of TheStreet.com

NYC Median Age 2There’s no grass-mowing or snow-shoveling.  No need to endure the aggravation and expense of maintaining a couple of cars (unless you want to).  Mediocre restaurant chains are few and far between, and commutes that run an hour or more are unheard-of.  What could be better?

One of the city’s fastest-growing groups of residents is Baby Boomers (their clout is evidenced by the fact that their descriptor is usually capitalized, contrary to the basic rules of the English language).  Often empty nesters and retirees, many of these folks have been languishing in suburbia after raising their lovely children, missing the City’s vibrant culture.

Manhattan, of course, is arguably the biggest and best cultural center in America.  In fact, maybe, the world.  We have it all – whatever kind of entertainment you prefer, some of the world’s best museums, great opera, symphonies, jazz clubs, theater and more great restaurants than most of us will ever have the chance to dine in.

People 55 and older make up more than 20% of the borough’s population and they’re on the verge of a major growth spurt. While the elderly population increases across the city, Manhattan’s share is projected to increase 57.9 percent over 2000 to 2030, to 295,000 people 65 and older in 2030 according to the New York City Department For The Aging which published this report.

The figures are great news for anyone who’s a Boomer, empty nester or retiree.  It means Manhattan will continue to develop a fabulous array of the amenities you love the most.  You also have a great choice of homes, from beautifully-detailed pre-war apartments to new condos and lofts with in-house fitness and business centers.

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Oct
23

Boomers and Empty Nesters Cry Foul on New York Daily News

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In an otherwise interesting article about the trendy set born between 1946 and 1964 flocking back to Manhattan in record numbers, the NY Daily News could have aroused the ire of many members of the Baby Boom generation.

The problem?  A casual opening sentence that said those Boomers bring “plenty of gray hairs and wrinkles” to the trendy and sophisticated borough.  Even the title is somewhat unfortunate: “Oldie but goodie: Retirees, empty-nesters flock to Manhattan – and thrive.”

Here’s some tongue-in cheek advice I’d give to the NY Daily News which is cluelessly unhip regarding Boomers and the empty nest crowd:

  • Don’t even try referring to Boomers as old until you’re sure most of them are at least 80 – that will occur in about 2045. Boomers are Boomers, not oldsters!  Being ahead of your time is often good, but not when describing Boomers.”
  • 80 may be the new old.  Until then, the Boomers may consent to being referred to as middle-aged.
  • Female Boomers very rarely have gray hair, and Grecian Formula hasn’t been around since 1961 because nobody uses it.
  • Be prepared for the Botox and cosmetic industries to rain scorn upon you.  Wrinkles are not the in thing, and a multi-billion dollar industry is not going to take this sitting down.  Spending on anti-aging cosmetic products has passed $75 million a year, and has been growing at about $8 million per year since 2004.
  • Be careful – plastic surgeons and other specialists involved in anti-aging services will be launching random scalpels your way.  Dermatologists and others will do heaven-knows-what – inject you with acne, perhaps? About 60,000 U.S. docs now profit from aging services, and anti-aging medical procedures are on track to surpass $15 billion per year by 2012.

Having assured my readers that I hear you, I’m off to start on an upcoming post about why Manhattan is a Mecca for the forever young. .

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