How slow is the New York real estate market in this season of our economic discontent? Marketers and publicists now say they are happy if two or three buyers had signed contracts in the last month or so, and had actually handed over checks for the 10 percent down payments.
Instead of shunning the U.S., where losses on subprime mortgages in 2007 triggered a global seizure in credit markets, investors can’t get enough Treasuries. Investors flee risky assets around the world and put their cash into U.S. bonds paying, in some cases, nothing in yield just to ensure the return of their principal.
Fannie Mae is finalizing a national policy that will allow tenants to remain in their homes even if their landlord goes into foreclosure -- a landmark decision for tenants.
President-elect Obama has selected Shaun Donovan, the 42-year-old who has led the Department of Housing Preservation and Development since 2004, as his Secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
New York has become an interesting case study on the burgeoning collaboration between design and marketing. Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group (Corcoran Group affiliated company) has been at the center of it. For better or worse, luxury residential real estate has dominated New York’s stake in contemporary architecture and high design, and continues to celebrate the (literal) value of prominent national and international architects.
The word from the top brass at Forest City Enterprises, parent company of Brooklyn-based mega-developer Forest City Ratner, is the firm is suspending all new development. That is, except Atlantic Yards.
Builders and Realtors are, of course, applauding the news that Treasury officials are considering a proposal to lower interest rates for new home purchases. But some financial analysts and brokers are less sanguine about the proposal.
The $800 billion infusion of federal funds into credit markets has an immediate impact on mortgage rates. Rates averaged 5.77% for the day on a 30-year, fixed rate loan, down from 6.06% a few days ealier. They fell as far as 0.75 percentage points on 11/25/2008, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association... That could save a typical home buyer more than $90 a month on a $200,000 mortgage.
Though the latest monthly sales numbers for existing homes were down slightly nationwide 3.1 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis sales in some of the hardest-hit local markets are really taking off, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors.
At best, loan modification companies provide homeowners with a service they could get for free from their lenders or nonprofit housing counselors, says the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
House prices in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou are plunging, and the global economy may grind almost to a halt next year because of it.
Over a decade of whirlwind development, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has repeatedly played dance partner to a potent mix of preservationists, developers and city politicians. It must strike a balance between protecting architecture and accepting economic realities, between a responsibility to history and a knowledge that the city must evolve.
Nobel Laureate Economist Paul Krugman on spending our way into economic health: "strong fiscal expansion would actually enhance the economy’s long-run prospects... The bottom line, then, is that people who think that fiscal expansion today is bad for future generations have got it exactly wrong. The best course of action, both for today’s workers and for their children, is to do whatever it takes to get this economy on the road to recovery."
The banking industry has taken pre-emptive measures to help borrowers. The best example is an initiative, announced this month, to help those who took out loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-owned companies that buy conventional mortgages from a wide swath of lenders. The companies’ loans make up about 58 percent of single-family mortgages nationwide. Borrowers who are struggling with mortgage bills should call their servicer to discuss the Hope for Homeowners program.
The evidence of a recession has been widespread for months: slower production, stagnant wages and hundreds of thousands of lost jobs. But the nonpartisan National Bureau of Economic Research, charged with making the call for the history books, waited until now to make it official — and the announcement came on a day when the American stock market fell nearly 9 percent in a single session.
I've seen some anecdotal evidence that the luxury market has rebounded in November after a hiccup the month prior as reported in this WSJ article which says that "those still in the market for a fancy house can find some huge discounts. The late Brooke Astor’s 14-room duplex on New York’s Park Avenue is listed at $34 million, down from $46 million."
Robert Shiller, a well-known economist and professor at Yale University, said the ongoing financial crisis could last for years. He said blaming monetary policy for the crisis is simplistic and misleading, and called for three solutions to prevent a similar crisis in the future.
The High Line, a park being created atop an old elevated railway in the West Chelsea area of Manhattan, offers a retreat from street life. The first section of the park will open to the public this spring, but it has already transformed the area near its 22-block stretch near the river, prompting some of the most ambitious real estate development in the city in years.
The strategy has become wearyingly familiar to preservationists. A property owner is notified by the landmarks commission that its building or the neighborhood is being considered for landmark status. The owner then rushes to obtain a demolition or stripping permit from the city’s Department of Buildings so that notable qualities can be removed, rendering the structure unworthy of landmark protection.
Federal authorities in Washington informed law enforcement officials in New York this week of a possible Al Qaeda plot to bomb transportation systems in and around New York City. The NY Police Department deployed extra officers after learning of “aspirational” plans for transit attacks over the holidays.