Wednesday, August 29, 2012

NY, NJ, Still Among Leading States in Foreclosure Inventory

NY's  Real Deal blog reports that there were a recorded 58,000 completed foreclosures across America in July 2012 — down nearly 7 percent month-over-month and 19 percent year-over-year, according to data released today by CoreLogic. However, both New York and New Jersey ranked among the five states with the highest foreclosure inventory. More specifically, New Jersey ticked in at 5.7 percent — making it take the second-highest foreclosure inventory — and New York at 5.2 percent, right behind New Jersey. 

Speculation about the reason for the growing number of foreclosed properties in New York centered around a major backlog of distressed properties still making their way through the court system.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Home Sales Improve Despite Mortgage Hurdles

Signs continue to come in that the housing market is seeing slow but steady improvement, although overly tight lending standards continue to hold back the market given the amount of pent-up demad that’s out there.

Existing-home sales increased 2.3 percent in July from a month earlier to a sales pace of 4.47 million. The new pace is more than 10 percent above where it was at this time last year.

And the median home sales price is up significantly as well, to $187,300, or 9.4 percent higher than this time last year, although NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in his monthly press conference in Washington yesterday attributed the gain to an increase in sales of high-cost homes. Sales of homes at the $100,000 or less price point declined nationally, reflecting the continuing shortgage of distressed and other inventory in markets around the country.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

NYC's Ultimate Trailer Park

"Trailer Park" is a portable, natural, public park housed inside an 18' x 8’ x 7' mobile Coachmen Travel Trailer. The interior is fully planted, designed, and treated as a "real" park. Hand-laid brick planter beds containing lush shrubs, trees, and plants are complimented by masonry laid in the same tradition as public parks. Concrete and wooden benches provide seating. Skylights allow rain and air to pass to the plants below.

It's probably the best know creation of Kim Holleman, a prominent environmental artist based in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Since its first showing at The Storefront For Art and Architecture, Trailer Park has shown in Chelsea, Soho, The Lower East Side, The Cooper Union, The Supreme Court at Foley Square and continues to evolve as a community based project.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Beware of Foreclosure Prevention Scams

Some of the worst perpetrators have been in New Jersey. NEWARK, N.J. – A Piscataway man who owned and operated multiple foreclosure rescue companies was sentenced today to 46 months in prison for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme that defrauded numerous mortgage lenders of more than $10 million, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. The details are worth keeping in mind.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Rent Rises Lead to Shrinking Apartment Sizes

Rents nationwide are rising faster than home prices, leading several major cities to encourage developers to develop more apartment complexes. Some cities believe the answer is to shrink the minimum apartment size, to build 'micro-units' for singles and couples.

Good Magazine reports that San Francisco is currently considering a proposal that would allow living spaces as small as 150 square feet, plus kitchenette, bathroom, and closet -- basically the size of a parking space and a one-car garage. The immediate goal is to create more housing and lower rent prices, which in San Francisco climbed 15 percent in June.

(Condos aren't immune from this trend. The 175 sq. ft, studio pictured here recently sold in Manhattan for 195k.)

Boston is talking about shrinking the minimum unit size from 450 to 350 square feet, and New York recently introduced the adAPT challenge to design 275-300 square-foot apartments in Manhattan, addressing the fact that some 800,000 people are expected to move to the Big Apple over the next 20 years, and there's only room for about 100,000 of them.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Phelps Waterfront Condo For Sale

Since winning 19 Olympic medals this week, Michael Phelps is ready to move on.

The Olympic swimmer’s name is reportedly not mentioned in the actual listing, but Baltimore property records indicate the address is the condo Phelps bought in 2007 for $1.69 million. It was assessed for $1.5 million in 2010.  The 4,000-square-foot condo has three bedrooms, three and a half baths, floor-to-ceiling windows and a fireplace.

There are not only Real Estate sites that specialize in celebrity homes, but there are also sites that only track celebrity athletes' homes. One such site is

 Radar online has the pictures.