Welcome to the Real Estate Law weblog. Here you'll find items pertaining to real estate from a lawyer's perspective.
Thu Nov 10, 2005
Manhattan Average Condo Prices Continue DeclineToday's NY Post, citing a report from one of Manhattan's well known brokerage houses, reports that :
"Median and average apartment prices fell 4.2 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively, from the end of September, and a whopping 15.9 percent and 18.3 percent since June."
The report, credited to Halstead Properties, "attributes the continuing downswing primarily to "a lack of closed sales at the high end of the market [that] kept the average sale price down in October, which at $1,088,941 was only 1 percent higher than a year ago."
Sun Oct 30, 2005
Has it Arrived?Recently released U.S. data shows what seems to many like what they have been predicting for some time, the beginning of the end of the most recent cycle of the housing boom.
According to quoted sources in a Reuters article by Julie Haviv,
"What we are seeing is a confluence of events...and what we will see is a general slowing or leveling off of housing demand over the next three to four months and into the early part of 2006,"
More to the point, according to the Commerce Department, the pace of new home sales slowed, while the prices dropped and while inventories of homes for sale rose.
With mortgage rates at their highest since the Summer of 2004, more commentators are calling for a topping off and gradual slow down, not yet convinced of others' claims that there is a bursting bubble. http://www.theepochtimes.com/news/5-10-29/33842.html
Fri Oct 14, 2005
Segmenting the BubbleRecent New York newspaper reports have broadcast the unwelcome news of double digit drops in average apartment prices in Manhattan, for the third quarter, year over year, leading some to conclude thatIn this past Sunday's New York Times, PATRICK O'GILFOIL HEALY says the slump may be less than perceived, citing strong sales of smaller units to offset the declining prices and volumes at the upper end.
Fri Oct 07, 2005
Winners and Losers in a Housing SlowdownToday's Inman News has an interesting article predicting winners and losers in the event of a housing slowdown.
What may be a disaster for highly leveraged borrowers holding exotic interest only loans would be a boon for pre-foreclosure and foreclosure investors, according to the article.
See if you agree with the article's conclusions.
http://www.inman.com/hstory.aspx?ID=48284 ( subscription required)
Multi Unit Investors Perk UpMichael Corkery of the Wall Street Journal Online reported that
"Vacancies dropped significantly and rents rose in the nation's top 70 markets, according to new quarterly statistics from REIS Inc., a New York-based real-estate research firm. "
Representing the third consecutive quarter of improvement for the rental apartment market, the improvement was attributed to a combination of condo conversions constraining supply, as well as a general improvement in employment.
With today's job figures showing Katrina and Rita related job losses to be less than expected, the prospect of higher cap rates for apartment investments may be well be gathering steam.
Fri Sep 30, 2005
Home Buying Plans at 10 Year LowToday's Inman News details the latest Consumer Confidence Report, based upon surveys taken by the University of Michigan.
Apart from noting that consumer confidence dropped to the lowest level in over twelve years, the report significantly notes that home buying plans dropped to the lowest level in over ten years. As the report indicates:
"The decline in home-buying plans was due to an increasingly negative reaction to high home prices, as consumers expressed in September the least favorable assessment in nearly a quarter century."
Read more here: http://www.inman.com/hstory.aspx?ID=48180 ( Subscription required for delayed viewing)
Thu Sep 29, 2005
Freddie Mac View on the BubbleIn the latest of the bouncing views on the existence and extent of the much debated "housing bubble", Freddie Mac CEO Richard F. Syron told a business group that he expected luxury homes in high priced markets to decline in the next few years, while "affordable" homes will slow in appreciation.
In any event, according to Mr. Syron, no nationwide collapse.
Wed Sep 28, 2005
It Ain't What It Used To BeToday's Newsday, and other papers syndicating the article, shows what $1,000,000.00 will get you in Manhattan -- and how many are willing to pay for what they're not getting for the money.
A wistful reflection on what used to be or a celebration of expanding real estate values. You decide. http://tinyurl.com/dhwmq
Thu Sep 22, 2005
Playing the Housing Stock Market SpreadOne thing about the financial markets. Show them an opportunity and they'll have a product...or many products.
Such is the case with mounting anxiety about protecting oneself against the hotly debated housing bubble, if you believe there is one.
If you're in the market for housing investment insurance, this article describes several products that purport to provide it. http://tinyurl.com/duwte
Tue Sep 20, 2005
MBA's Phone Home on Residential Real EstateIn an innovative poll of those holding masters degrees in businee administration, responses showed an overwhelming aversion to investment in houses over the next several years.
In fact 76% said they'd avoid investing in houses for growth over the next five years, preferring the stock market as a better bet.
What's more, over 70% said they wouldn't even buy houses for themselves in certain"overheated" areas, including New York and Miami, among others.
Read more »
There are two other interesting points to the study.
First, is the fact that MBA respondents to the poll didn't feel the same way about commercial real estate, which, by a healthy majority, they felt was based on the math. Here in New York, where commercial deals are getting done for cap rates of 4% and less, this is a curious point of view except, of course, where commercial properties are being bought to convert to condominium at much higher square foot valuations.
Secondly, however, it's interesting to note that the poll shows a prevailing view among MBA holders that residential real estate prices are primarily influenced by psychology, so that mood shifts, as much as interest rates and credit availability, are thought to influence the direction and speed of movement in prices of residential real estate.
See more at http://www.nypost.com/business/53662.htm
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