Friday, September 19, 2008

I wanted to share this email with you all that I received from our firm's president...

Please be advised that tonight’s episode of “20/20” will include an interview with Brown Harris Stevens agent Kathy Sloane in which she claims that “Manhattan’s finest co-op apartments may have already lost a fourth of their value as a result of the financial crisis.”

So far, we have no evidence to support that claim. We have not seen a wave of panic selling; on the contrary, many homeowners have taken their apartments off the market until the economic news sorts itself out. Many of our buyers have adopted a wait-and-see stance.

Moreover, co-op values tend to fluctuate at a more glacial rate in comparison with other property types. Owners of co-ops have lots of equity in their apartments and co-operative rules do not allow for lots of leveraging. So even if prices are dropping, the idea that co-op values could plummet so perilously in so short a time is not borne out by history or circumstances.

What is occurring on Wall Street is still unfolding and it is completely premature to state what the ultimate impact of these events will be. Today’s announcement by the federal government and yesterday’s and today’s bullish stock market activity are very positive signs. While the economy, financial services market and personal financial investments are indeed taking a hit right now, this is the time where in past financial cycles where we real estate brokers previously saw a renewed interest in people investing and putting their money into tangible assets like real estate. The current credit crunch is different than previous shocks to the financial system so making predictions about demand for housing is difficult, but we remain optimistic.

The market is in a state of flux but New York has been through down cycles before. We also benefit from a strong demand for housing by virtue of our status as a global city. Real estate values don’t ever reset to zero like you see happening in the equities market. They’re not making any more land, and NYC real estate has always held a higher value relative to other markets. Cash is king right now and those cash buyers will be in a strong position during this unsettled period.

Over the long-term, real estate has always proven to be a solid investment. While the news from Wall Street will have some immediate effects on those that have been directly impacted, the long term health and outlook of the NYC market is not in doubt.

Those of you who worked in the industry will recall how some observers predicted the demise of Manhattan real estate after the events of 9/11 with rumors of a mass exodus to the suburbs. It never amounted to anything – in fact, the opposite turned out to be true. People flocked to New York City. The same magic that drew them to this great city then will continue to call them in the future.

Gary L. Malin, President

Citi Habitats

250 Park Avenue South, 11th Floor

New York, NY 10003

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Do you know anyone looking for a great deal in the W. Village?

Come to the open house this Sunday! 5/25 1-3
3 Weehawken St. bet. 10th St. and Christopher St.

RARELY AVAILABLE 19th CENTURY ITALIANTE CONDO STUDIO WITH SLEEP LOFT IN THE HISTORIC WEST VILLAGE. Full-sized kitchen with a breakfast bar, open living space with soaring ceilings and shuttered wrought iron windows. Wood-burning fireplace is framed by a wall of exposed brick. Huge sleep loft has a closet and easily holds a king-sized bed with plenty of storage space left over. Located between 10th Street and Christopher Street. Close to subway and PATH. Steps to all West Village shops, dining, bars and all that this unique neighborhood has to offer!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I've been doing this for many years now and have learned that regardless of where the economy goes, what direction Wall St. takes; there will be a huge surge in the rental market in the next 4-6 weeks. Stastically speaking warm weather brings change of address for many current and hopeful New Yorkers.
In a business where planning as well as timing is everything, the city and outer boroughs will see hoards of people seeking to come here, upgrade or sometimes downgrade in NYC.

Simply put: Rents are going to increase as lack of supply and heavy demand for inventory increase. Now is the time to get a "deal" before the rush. Some factors to consider that can make your search more challenging: if you are a pet owner, landlord incentives (free rent, partial payment towards broker fees, delayed move-in on apartments that are immediate occupancy disapearing, shaving a few dollars of the asking rent),having less than stellar credit. As the busy season approaches landlords become increasingly un-willing to "work with tenants". They in turn can become more demanding in what they require and also tend to become pretty inflexible to any specific needs the prespective tenant(s) may have.

I'd suggest to anyone who is thinking about moving, it may be best for you to move earlier, if you can't handle the roller coaster ahead.

That said, I'm currently doing push-ups and drinking energy drinks in preparation of the spring/summer season which is actually my favorite. I love a challenge :)and I enjoy making the seemingly impossible, quite possible. I am known for managing to keep a cool head, holding hands and offering free therapy to my clients until they are able to secure a lease.

I hope you were educated by my long seque-way into an article I'm posting. I see similar articles like this one each season.

Apple a renter’s market
Bargains may bloom as cold winds of real-estate slide hit New York
by patrick arden / metro new york
MAR 20, 2008

MANHATTAN. As the rest of the nation has been caught in a dangerous real-estate roller coaster, New Yorkers — and especially Manhattanites — have told themselves that their city’s prized real estate was not subject to the same bubble economics. And the numbers have agreed: last year ended with the average price of a Manhattan apartment at a whopping

$1.4 million, a record.

Such lofty prices help explain why New York is a city of renters. But a report released yesterday found that rents for one- and two-bedroom apartments in Manhattan went down last month — and the rental market is considered the last place economic woes would be reflected.

According to the Real Estate Group, which examines Manhattan rental listings under $10,000, the average rent on a one-bedroom apartment in a doorman building was $3,578 this month, 2.3 percent less than a year ago. Two-bedrooms in doorman buildings cost $5,265, a 5.2 percent drop from their average rent in March 2007.

Declines were seen in Harlem, the Upper West Side, the Upper East Side, Midtown West, Chelsea, Gramercy Park, the East Village and SoHo. Prices were up, however, in Midtown East, Murray Hill and the Financial District. And many studio apartments still rose last month.

“Anticipated job cuts and the depressed dollar seem to have planted the seeds of doubt in the minds of many New York consumers,” said Daniel Baum, chief operating officer of the Real Estate Group. Baum believes “just as many people want to live in Manhattan today as they did two years ago,” when rents were skyrocketing. His advice? If you’re planning to move, move now.

New York real estate: South Slope --

New York real estate: South Slope --

Friday, February 1, 2008

Federal Court Rejects Atlantic Yards Appeal:

Federal Court Rejects Atlantic Yards Appeal: Full Coverage
A federal appeals court rejected an appeal by critics of the use of eminent domain in the $4 billion Atlantic Yards mega-project in Brooklyn, a big, if expected, victory for developer Forest City Ratner, and surely a demoralizing blow to project opponents.

The decision nearly puts to rest the legal chapter of this years-long, high-profile development battle. Since the plan was approved more than a year ago, the courts have been the focus of any attention, as Forest City chairman Bruce Ratner has done little work on the Prospect Heights site other than demolitions and some other preparation.

The rejection leaves opponents with few legal avenues left, as the appellants on the lawsuit would need a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to merely be granted a trial in the case, let alone to come out victorious. Critics had said they put their highest hopes at the federal appellate level, and have previously conceded that it was unlikely the Supreme Court would take the case (the court only hears a few dozen cases a year).
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