Many big banks say the crisis has been made worse by mark-to-market accounting rules, which require toxic assets to be carried on their books at fire-sale prices, based on recent trades of similar assets for far less than they would command in normal times. But not everyone agrees that mark-to-market rules have been as damaging as the banks claim.
Most closely watched U.S. home price measures lack enough local data to truly reflect house values and are overstating the extent of price drops, executives at a real estate analytics firm said. Closely watched indexes cited by the firm's co-founders, Michael Sklarz and Norm Miller, included those provided by Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller, U.S. regulator the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the National Association of Realtors.
Sellers of property have called the shots for years on the 22.7 square mile island that is the financial capital of the United States. From the market peak between the fourth quarter of 2007 and the first quarter of 2008, listing prices, typically higher than the selling price in a buyers' market, plunged between 10 and 20 percent.
The Case-Shiller Home Price Index, a measure of 20 metropolitan areas, fell 19 percent in January from a year ago. The New York area which includes the five boroughs and Wayne NJ for some reason, fell 9.6%
Why are renters smiling? Rents are falling in New York City. Some tenants are trading up. Others are paying less for similar space. Many people who signed leases in the bubble years are paying much more in rent than what their apartments would get today. So when their leases expire, some New Yorkers are trading up for better deals.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s plan to reform the financial system is a start, but there are big underlying issues that need to be addressed. Of all the proposals Mr. Geithner laid out, the most far-reaching pertain to such systemically important firms. He called for a single powerful regulator to police the most powerful institutions,... In the all-too-likely event that firms would get too big to fail anyway, he called for new government powers to seize and restructure them... The important question, however, is whether any firm should even come close to getting too big to fail.
It took three years of negotiations, but a Chinese real estate company is finally signing a lease for space in a skyscraper under construction at ground zero, becoming the first commercial tenant for the rebuilt World Trade Center.The Beijing Vantone Industrial Company has agreed to a 23-year lease for floors 64 through 69 in 1 World Trade Center, at the southeast corner of West and Vesey Streets.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved fare hikes that will cut services and raise the price of a single ride to $2.50 and the 30-day MetroCard to $103. By two 12-1 votes, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority adopted a measure on fare hikes and another on service cuts, but only after some board members angrily denounced state lawmakers and Gov. David Paterson for failing to bail out the financially troubled agency.
Sales increased 4.7 percent to an annual pace of 337,000 after a 322,000 rate in January, the Commerce Department said. The median sales price fell 18 percent from February 2008, and the glut of properties on the market shrank.
U.S. home prices rose for the first time in 12 months, showing an increase of 1.7% on a seasonally-adjusted basis from December to January, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index.
Leave on one side the question of whether the Geither plan is a good idea or not. One thing is clearly false in the way it’s being presented: administration officials keep saying that there’s no subsidy involved, that investors would share in the downside. That’s just wrong. Why? Because of the non-recourse loans, which reportedly will finance 85 percent of the asset purchases.
Is this the bottom getting found? Sales of previously owned homes in the U.S. unexpectedly increased in February as record foreclosures pushed down prices and lured first-time buyers into the market. Purchases rose 5.1 percent to an annual rate of 4.72 million from 4.49 million in January, according to the NAR. The median price slumped 15.5 percent from a year ago...distressed properties accounted for 45 percent of all sales.
So who is actually getting some? I mean those beautiful fixed-rate mortgages advertised at 5.5 percent or less.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has a good chance of succeeding with his plan to cleanse banks of toxic assets, says A. Michael Spence, co-winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in economics. Paul Krugman, the newest laureate, is so sure Geithner will fail that he’s full of “despair.”
The Obama administration’s new plan to liberate the nation’s banks from a toxic stew of bad home loans and mortgage-related securities is bigger and more generous to private investors than expected, but it also puts taxpayers at great risk.
Getting buildings to become more eco-friendly can be a complicated and thankless task for tenants. The politics at residential buildings, which are notoriously contentious, have become even more so as environmental issues have entered the fray. At many co-ops and condominiums, the members of energy and green committees lobby and cajole their neighbors to embrace projects that sometimes require upfront money, like solar panels.
Three Times columnists respond to questions from readers about the Housing rescue plan. Many people have mixed feelings about the bailouts from Wall Street to Main Street as they seem to reward bad judgment. Some tough questions and comment too.
With sales prices of Manhattan apartments having tumbled by perhaps a quarter in just the past few months, pinpointing the bottom has become a top priority for anyone eager to buy, sell or broker a deal on a home in New York.
A State Supreme Court judge officially ordered the foreclosure of Rector Square condominium in Battery Park City, granting the receiver the power to rent out the building's unsold units and providing a budget to complete construction of its common areas.
With sales prices of Manhattan apartments having tumbled by perhaps a quarter in just the past few months, pinpointing the bottom has become a top priority for anyone eager to buy, sell or broker a deal on a home in New York. Leaders in the Manhattan real estate industry give their views about the downturn.