Landlords – Tips To Keep Tenants and Increase Profits

Brownstone building on the Lower East Side in ...

Multi-family Rental Property

How to Make Your Rental Properties Stand Out From The Crowd And Lower Your Loss Factor

An assertion that many NYC landlords are lacking on the reputation front would hardly be breaking news.  Some seem to have no interest in pleasing their tenants, building a sustainable (and growing) business, providing a quality product (housing) that keeps people coming back, and service (property management) that people are happy to continue to pay for.  Of course there are also some landlords that have established a brand based on quality and reliability (the Related Group comes to mind).  We at Village Confidential thought we would share a few of our thoughts with our landlord readers on how to get and keep quality tenants while protecting their asset and maximizing profit.

  1. Build and Promote a Community
    1. This concept works for large complex and brownstone multi-family properties alike.  It’s all about building brand loyalty.  People want to like where they live and this will give them a reason to be proud of it.  Building a community will lead to fewer complaints, higher tenant retention, and more tenant referrals.  There are a number of ways to go about doing this.  Establish a sense of community with a monthly newsletter, electronic or on paper, to let them know what’s going on at the property (are you spending money to replace the boiler or paint the lobby?) or what’s going on in the neighborhood (did a great new restaurant open up down the street?).  Encourage residents to contribute content, advertisements, or ideas to the newsletter.  Sponsor mixers like a rooftop BBQ for the 4th of July or even drinks at a local bar for the Super Bowl.  Co-brand your property while adding value for your tenants by encouraging the neighborhood’s favorite dining and nightlife spots to offer discounts or coupons directly to your tenants.
  2. Think About Your Pet Policy
    1. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 42.1% of households with annual income over $85,000 own a pet.  That’s quite a large section of the market to exclude from your pool of potential tenants.  Of course, permitting pets in your building requires that you establish a well defined and transparent pet policy during the application process.  Define the number of pets you will permit, the type, breed, size restrictions, and deposit requirements.  Use a rider to your standard lease agreement to address issues such as complaints from neighbors and the replacement of pets that pass away (require notice).  Anticipate the potential costs associated with permitting pets and pass that along to the tenant.  Consider requiring a one-time or recurring pet fee (not a deposit) in consideration of allowing an animal in the apartment.
  3. Think About Your Smoking Policy
    1. One of the topics du jour in property management is whether to allow smoking in your building.  Offering tenants a smoke free building can be a lucrative marketing technique.  It attracts high-quality tenants who are willing to pay more for a smoke free building, it cuts down on move-out maintenance, reduces risks associated to fire, may lower your insurance costs, and reduces legal liability.  There have been a number of high-profile cases in which tenants have asserted a breach of the Warranty of Habitability in relation to smoke related health issues in apartment buildings.
  4. Be Transparent With Security Deposits
    1. The security deposit should be used to cover damage caused by the tenant.  Keeping deposits just to “see if the tenant will really pursue it” or overcharging for necessary maintenance and repairs will not promote a landlords reputation in the community.  Real estate is a long-term business and reputation is important, especially in the Internet age.  Make sure you or your broker are clear in your listings what the security deposit requirements will be.  Take a quick video inventory of the unit just before possession is delivered to the tenant and keep the video on file until the tenant moves out.  Have your broker or property manager use the video and post-tenancy examination of the property to determine what the tenant is responsible for.  If the property is in need of repair, get written estimates for the cost and deduct it from the tenant’s security deposit, then promptly return the deposit to the tenant along with a written explanation of the deductions that were made.
  5. Avoid Tenancy Disputes and Holdovers
    1. Sixty days in advance of the termination of a tenancy, contact the tenant in writing and inquire about their intentions for renewal.  Let them know what the renewal terms will be (rent, term, etc.).  Insist that the tenant reply back to you in writing (and enforce this process with a provision in the original lease agreement).  Document everything.  Keep a simple spreadsheet of every communication you have with the tenant (i.e. called about water leak on 2/8, super fixed on 2/9, followed-up with tenant to confirm on 2/10).  The same goes for rent collection and renewal communications.
  6. Be Uber-Responsive and Rule With an Iron Fist
    1. When tenants have complaints, they should be addressed immediately.  Nothing makes a tenant unhappier than a non-responsive landlord.  They start thinking about moving right then and there.  Even if you can’t always accommodate a tenant’s request, get back to them within twenty-four hours.  When appropriate, follow-up with them to make sure they were satisfied that a task was completed properly.  Take these communications as an opportunity to ask the tenant their thoughts on the building and for information on anything that may need to be addressed.  That being said, your tenants are not your friends.  Set strict rules and regulations regarding the building and its living environment and enforce them.  Good tenants prefer this because it means that they will have a more orderly living environment.  Don’t allow severely delinquent rent payments to slide and don’t tolerate tenant behavior that make other tenants quiet enjoyment of the property suffer.
  7. Complete A Thorough Background Check and Use Stringent Application Requirements
    1. In order to establish the right tenant mix in your building, it’s important that you pay close attention to the application process.  You should require the following from all tenants:
      • Proof of income in excess of 40x the monthly rent (tax returns or cover in employment letter below if it’s a new position)
      • Proof of liquid assets
      • A prior landlord recommendation letter
      • Proof of employment (signed by the employer)
      • Current credit repot
      • Housing court and criminal history pulled with credit

If the tenant cannot satisfy all of the requirements satisfactorily, consider allowing the use of a guarantor.  Get the same documents from the guarantor that are noted above for the tenant (except that their annual income should exceed 80x the monthly rent).  Your broker or property manager should be able to assist you with this process.

8. Stay on Top of the Current Market

    1. It is vitally important that you price your multi-family property properly.  If you price your apartments above current market values, you will lose existing tenants and increase your loss factor.  Your vacancies will stay on the market longer, and you will gain a reputation in the brokerage community for overpricing (which decreases their interest in showing your properties).  Are concessions such as free rent and O.P.s (owner pays the broker) typical for similarly situated apartments?  Are the apartment’s renovations or the building’s amenities comparable to other listings at the same price in the neighborhood?  Under pricing can also have severe consequences.   For example, let’s say that you have ten apartments in one building asking $3,000 per month resulting in a $360,000 rent roll.  If those ten apartments could have been rented easily for $3,200 per month (a 6.66% increase), you are losing $24,000 per year.  If buildings in your neighborhood sell for a 5% cap rate, you have decreased the value of your building by $480,000 – all because you underestimated rental values by 6.66%.  Make sure you or your broker are competent in pricing your apartment listings.

If you would like to speak to a member of our team about questions related to property management or brokerage of residential apartment rentals, please call us at (212) 400-4838 or e-mail us at keytothecity@akerlyre.com.


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Guest Post – “Don’t Mess Up in Here!” by Noah Rosenblatt of UrbanDigs.com

A: If you are a new seller, 4 weeks or less, then this post is for you. Fact is, if you take a step back and in hindsight look at the traffic patterns of any given exclusive, a pattern becomes clear. That pattern is sometimes the difference of tens of thousands of dollars in the end; IT WAS FOR ME!

Unless the apartment is aggressively priced, most of the activity will happen in the first 2 weeks and in the final 3-4 weeks (due to price cuts).

THE FIRST 2 WEEKS (The ‘Should Have’ Period)

I like to call the first two weeks of every exclusive the ‘should have’ period. The first 2 weeks is the period of time where you get a bunch of appointments scheduled from ‘B’ buyers who are trying to learn the inventory of their price point and their agents who just want to do a deal already. Maybe you’ll get a few ‘A’ buyers too. Most likely, you’ll get a low ball bid. Many times this very early bid is the nightmare for sellers 5 months later. So, I refer to it from the seller’s point of view as the, “I should have accepted that bid and saved 5 months of agony”.

It makes me think of that scene in Casino where Joe Pesci stares down DiNero as he goes to pick up his wife, Sharon Stone, at Pesci’s restaurant. You know that scene, where Pesci sneers, “Hey! Don’t Mess Up In Here…!”…

(Not the scene, but has that same look)

In Hindsight, every financial decision is 20/20; including whether or not YOU, THE SELLER should accept that offer.

It is during the first two-three weeks of listing your property that you will get the most interest and if lucky, an offer. The offer will not be high but will be very close, the same, or most likely HIGHER than what you eventually accept down the road after multiple price cuts!

I SAY TO YOU, THE SELLER, DON’T MESS UP IN HERE! And if you do mess up and ignore the offer because there is so much activity and you won’t sell below a certain price in the first 4 weeks, to NOT blame it on your broker for failing to move your property at the highest & best price possible down the road.

MY STORY: When I had my condo on the market at Astor Terrace, I showed you the work I did and how I was going to market it, I got the most activity during the first 3 weeks. Every open house was packed and I was thinking JACKPOT! I even got a bid. I was asking $1,075,000 (much higher than I knew it would sell for but it was my home, and my home is worth what I say…yea right!) and got a bid of $950K. I shrugged it away without a response and played hardball. Yea, real smart.

Four months later I found myself $6,000 into weekly NY Times advertising and other marketing expenses, tired, worried, and 2 price cuts down to $975,000. Traffic dried up and I was getting very nervous. HOW COULD I HAVE DISREGARDED THAT OFFER! Nights became sleepless and bills seemed threatening to my financial well being.

I winded up accepting a $935,000 one time take it or leave it bid, up from $925,000 originally. It was all cash and ‘looking to close within a month’ that made the offer a no-brainer for me. But the mistake was made and the lesson was learned.

THE LESSON: Think about any bid that you receive in the first two to three weeks! Think about even if it is well below your asking price. If you decide NOT to accept a low offer in the first 3 weeks, than be prepared to possibly have your apartment on the market for the next few months! I’ll explain why right now.

3rd TO 16th WEEK OF YOUR LISTING

During weeks 3 to 16th of your listing, assuming your property was on the market for 4 months or more, your traffic is pretty much the same; SLOW. The broker is showing the apartment 1-2 times a week, and you are having 2-4 people per open house. Not a good sign. The listing seems to have staled up, and feelings of nervousness fill both the agent and the seller as thoughts of ‘problems with marketing’ begin to arise. I usually hear questions like, “Why aren’t you showing the apartment more often?”, or “The ad in the NY Times wasn’t big enough”, and the best one, “I want this place SOLD, so get to work and SELL IT!”. Yea, ok.

You know what I think at this point? I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if you had 30 buyers through your property with no bid submitted, than your asking price is too high and needs to come down to reality; i.e. YOU HAVE TO WAKE UP!

I’ve said this over and over here on UrbanDigs:

YOUR HOME IS WORTH ONLY WHAT SOMEONE IS WILLING TO PAY FOR IT

It doesn’t matter that you are so close to the subway station, or that you have brand new stainless steel appliances, or even that you have a terrace (cause I had a sick one!). It only matters what a buyer will bid for it and whether or not you HAVE TO sell it right now. The problem is that as a seller, you get emotional and ONLY look at the positive attributes of your property when you price it and review offers! The solution should be to be as unbiased a seller as possible! Notice if your apartment is on a low floor, or has no views, or gets no sunlight, or is on a very busy/noisy street, or has a floor-through layout, or has low ceilings, or whatever! This is what buyers will be thinking about when they bid. A biased seller will be unable to make rational decisions when it comes to accepting an offer.

Moving on.

FINAL 3-4 WEEKS

Traffic begins to heat up as you already hit your turning point and have succumbed to price reductions. It happened for me after 12 weeks on the open market and 11 open houses. A very long time for any nervous seller!

 

I didn’t get a contract signed until the 18th week and 16th open house and for lower than what I was offered 16 weeks ago!

 

Your price comes down and activity picks up. Wow. I can’t believe it. It’s amazing how this works. Why didn’t I think of this earlier? Why didn’t I respect what my broker originally told me 15 weeks ago about where to price my unit? Why was I so blind?

BECAUSE YOU ARE HUMAN. BECAUSE IT’S YOUR HOME. BECAUSE IT’S HARD TO SELL ANYTHING THAT HAS EMOTIONAL TIES, MEMORIES, GOOD TIMES & BAD.

But you must not be clouded in your financial decisions. You must be able to recognize when to move on an offer. You must be able to realize that a highly qualified buyer may NOT be so easy to find!

This post was based entirely on the notion of hindsight and what I have noticed AFTER looking back at my clients and my own exclusive listings, to see if there were any patterns. There were. If anything should be gained from this post it’s that you must have the vision and the will to accept a reasonable offer if:

1. It comes very early and from a qualified buyer
2. Is reasonable in the sense that you were going to price your apartment at $750K but decided last minute to raise that to $800K. Now you get a $700K offer in first 2 weeks.
3. You are under time pressure to sell

Don’t Be Stupid. Don’t Be Greedy. Don’t Mess Up In Here!

By Noah Rosenblatt of Urban Digs.

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Guest Post – Steps to Take Before Buying a Home by Paul Purcell

Paul Purcell

Paul Purcell is a co-founder of Rutenberg Realty, a top ten boutique residential real estate firm based in Manhattan.  A respected industry voice, Purcell is often quoted in such prestigious publications as The New York Times, and has appeared frequently on New York 1 News as well as CNN, CNBC, and WNBC-TV.

Originally printed in Resident magazine’s October, 2010 issue

The number one real estate question these days seems to be “Is this a good time to buy a home?”  Given the current state of the economy and the housing market, consumers are heavily weighing the decision of “buy or not to buy.”  The decision, however, is always based on each individual’s unique needs and abilities.  But, whether you’re a first time buyer or in the market for a second home, there are a series of steps always worth following.  With ample preparation, you’ll feel more confident about the home buying process and be better prepared to make an educated decision.

Why Buy a Home?

Homeownership still remains one of the highest goals for many people because of its benefits.  Besides the number one reason of being the American dream, owning a home of your own transcends pride of ownership as well as a sense of security and belonging.  For many, homeownership represents personal and financial success.  As a valued investment, a home can have many financial advantages and tax benefits.  The amount of interest you pay on a home loan and the real estate taxes you pay on your home are among the major federal tax deductions.  Also, owning a home is the way many people build wealth.

Before you venture into the home buying journey, you might want to consider the following:

  1. Know What You Can Afford. Before you begin, you should figure out what kind of home you can afford based upon your monthly budget.  Create an itemized list of what you spend each month and determine how much will go to housing.  You might have to economize in order to get the home of your dreams, but don’t be unrealistic with your regular day-to-day needs and obligations.  Also, be sure to speak with a trusted financial advisor to get an objective opinion about mortgages and to be clear about the precise amount you can borrow.  Most importantly, be certain to understand the mortgage product – its terms and conditions.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  It’s a good idea to know what’s on your credit report and have a clear idea of your income stream so you can pre-qualify yourself for a loan.
  2. How and Where You Should Live. Is a single-family home right for you?  Would a condo be a better choice?  Which neighborhood, town, or city best fits your lifestyle?  These questions are important and require work.  Your friends and family will all have an opinion.  Listen to them objectively.  Remember, there is no real incentive for your real estate agent to tell you about places where they don’t sell, so consider their opinion judiciously.  Do your homework, prioritize your needs and wants, visit neighborhoods, try out the commute, ask questions and use the Internet.  Now more than ever, take the time to learn the local market conditions and see as much property as you can to better understand price and value.  There are some tremendous opportunities in most markets, but you have to educate yourself.  If you’re not entirely sure about a location, you might want to consider renting something first to determine if the area is a “fit.”  After all, this is your dream and not someone else’s.
  3. Select the Right Real Estate Agent.  Most of us spend more time picking out a restaurant than we do a real estate agent.  Yet, this is potentially the single largest financial transaction most of us will make in our lifetime.  It deserves greater attention!  Ask your friends, neighbors and work colleagues for recommendations.  Interview several prospective real estate agents.  Ask questions about their background, tenure in the profession, their firm, sales performance, and their knowledge of the market in which you’re interested.  A good agent brings knowledge to the table.  They don’t just open doors.  Above all else, make sure your personalities match too.
  4. Build Your Team.  It’s never too early to begin thinking about the other service providers necessary to turn your home ownership dream into a reality.  In additional to your financial advisor, there are other members of this process that you will also want to take into consideration.  For example, you might want to consult with an attorney to help with the complex legal paperwork and contracts.  You may also want to use the services of a house inspector, who can help determine whether the structure, construction and the mechanical systems of the home are completely safe.  If you do not already have an insurance agent, you may want to “shop around” among several companies before selecting the right one to assist with your move to a new location (or even if you are staying local, for that matter).  When you begin your search, ask your realtor to help you compile this list of other potential team members.

Remember, as in most things, preparation is key.  If you understand your finances, do your homework, learn as much as you can about the market, select an agent who understands your needs, build a great team of people you can trust and keep your focus and your cool, you will be in a much better position when the right home comes along.

If you are interested in purchasing or leasing property in the Village, or another Manhattan or Brooklyn neighborhood please feel free to reach out to our team for a free consultation by calling (212) 400-4838, or by e-mailing yourkeytothecity@AkerlyRE.com.

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113 Jane Street – From Surly Seamen to Budget Travelers and Nightlife Denizens

113 Jane Street historic photo

Jane Street’s long history in Greenwich Village has evolved over time.  Historians believe that its name was derived from a cow path that at one time lead to the Jayne Farm which grew tobacco in the area.  Today, at the most western point of Jane Street lays a storied building with a somewhat sordid history at 113 Jane.  The current Georgian style, red brick building designed by architect William Alciphron Boring was built in 1908 for the American Seaman’s Friend Society, a then eighty year old organization who “sought to bring civilizing influences to bear on the tens of thousands of sailors passing through the port of New York.”  The six-story building functioned as a seaman’s hostel with 156 rooms for sailors plus more for officers, engineers, cooks, and stewards.  The rank of the men while at sea came ashore with them and determined which rooms they could rent or which amusement rooms they could frequent.  Seaman paid $.25 per night while others paid $.50.  No alcohol was allowed on the premises and Christian proselytizing of the rough set was common.

NY Times Announces Sinking of Titanic

When the Titanic infamously sank on April, 15 1912, many survivors of the tragedy found their way to New York.  Ironically, the luxurious Titanic had been designed to compete with the Lusitania and Mauretania operated by rival company Cunard Line.  When the R.M.S. titanic sank in the frigid waters of the Atlantic, the Cunard Line’s Carpathia rescued the survivors and returned many of them to the operator’s pier on the Hudson River across from 113 Jane.  More than 100 of the survivors gathered there one night for a memorial service at which “a mighty, roaring chorus” could be heard singing “Nearer, My God, to Thee” according to the New York Times.  Many of them were sailors, now destitute after losing their jobs aboard the Titanic, and New Yorkers left clothes and money for them at the building.

The building was converted to other uses in 1931, but many sailors remained in the cramped living quarters.  In 1933, the NYPD was dispatched to deal with the surly bunch who hurled chairs and books at staff members attempting to keep order.  The American Seaman’s Friend Society sold the building to the YMCA in 1944 and it was converted to the Jane West Hotel in 1951.  The hotel, which was never substantively remodeled from the tiny 49 square foot rooms that housed sailors along narrow corridors with bathrooms at the end, was eventually used as single room occupancy (SRO) residences by some of New York City’s down and out.  The operation later changed its name to the Hotel Riverview.

By 2009, long-term residents paid $200 per month for their meager West Village abode while transients passing through paid $99 per night.  This is where Sean MacPherson, Eric Goode, and their partners came in.  They envisioned pod like rooms that would appeal to young travelers with the $99 per night price tag in a city where modest accommodations regularly top $250 per night.  They had already built the Bowery Hotel and renovated the Maritime Hotel, at 16th and Ninth Avenue in Chelsea – both of which had become nightlife destinations.  In order to bring their vision to fruition, over 150 residents, many of whom where drunks, degenerates, and drug addicts, would need to be relocated.  Most would not leave voluntarily and they were protected by housing laws that made it difficult to evict them.  But the construction began, many of the SRO residents departed, and 113 Jane was on its way to transforming into the The Jane, the modern hotel the developers envisioned.

Jane Ballroom

Today, The Jane offers its small rooms to travelers looking to experience NYC on the cheap or who are interested in the building’s interesting history.  Rooms are decked out with polished wood, flat-screen TVs, WiFi and iPod docking stations.  According to Trip Advisor, 77% of these travelers enjoy their stay. Those that don’t, complain about the small facilities, shared bathrooms, and noise from the bar downstairs.  That bar, the Jane Ballroom, was created from an auditorium left over from the buildings early days and designed with period décor.   It had more recently been used as The Jane Street Theater which was notable for launching such shows as Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The venue became the cocktail den du jour when the Beatrice Inn involuntarily closed its doors in 2009.  But the party was short-lived as it lead to an epic battle between the hotel’s owners and the nearby townhouse owners that makeup the Jane Street Block Association. The bar closed, then opened, then closed again but eventually emerged with a much toned down atmosphere in the lounge.

The Jane Hotel, 113 Jane Street at West Street, (212) 924-6700 or http://www.thejanenyc.com

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New Village Restaurants Coming Soon

Former Chow Bar space

We thought we would take a look at two anticipated arrivals to the Village dining scene today.  First, we have Alex Stupak’s new venture, Empellon.  We’ve heard rumblings of this project for a while now.  Last Fall, Community Board 2 asked the owners to garner more community support before returning to have their liquor license application reconsidered.  In December (on the third try, the application was finally approved and they expect to open in March at the old Chow Bar space on W. Fourth Street.

Stupak was the former pastry chef at WD-50 and cut his teeth as a sous-pastry chef at Mario Batali’s Babbo.  He has said that Empellon’s menu will focus on simple Mexican dishes with solid execution.  The restaurant will close at 2am and will be sound-proofed.

Empellon, 230 West 4th St. near West 10th St. (set to open in March 2011)

Next, The Mussel Pot plans to start serving seafood on Bleecker Street this month.  We haven’t been able to find any details.  Let us know if you have!

The Mussel Pot, 174 Bleecker Street at Sullivan (set to open this month)

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Guest Post – Weekly Economic Summary by Shaun Meller of Bank of America

Shaun Meller

Last week in review – (January 17 – 21, 2011)

 

The US dollar is starting 2011 with its value dropping relative to other currencies.

Let’s take a look at why and what this could mean for home loan rates.

  1. Some of the dollar’s drop is attributed to the recent strength in the euro, which has gotten a boost from some recent positive stories, like Spain and Portugal’s ability to sell debt in the bond market without crisis. But have Europe’s problems gone away? No – there will be more problems ahead for the region, and as they emerge, we should see a reversal in the euro’s strength along with improvement in the US dollar.
  2. Another reason for the dollar’s weakness is the Fed’s Quantitative Easing (known as QE2).

At this point, the weakening US dollar hasn’t had a big negative effect on the US bond market, but should the dollar materially weaken, it could make US-denominated assets like US bonds less valuable and desirable amongst global investors and it has been these foreign investors, like China, who have supported the US bond market for years by purchasing our debt. Remember, home loan rates are tied to mortgage backed securities, which are a type of bond. So negative news for bonds would also be bad news for home loan rates.

In housing news last week, existing home sales for December were reported much better than expected. The jump in sales is likely attributed in part to the recent trend of rising home loan rates, which has prompted many homebuyers to take advantage of the still low home loan rates. Building permits – which signal future construction – also came in better than expected last week, surging 17% in December.

The housing industry shows signs of improvement in 2011. There will still be some areas that suffer price declines, and those will be where foreclosure backlogs overhang and where unemployment rates are higher than the national average. But housing looks to have bottomed out in many areas and should see more of a pick up in the second half of 2011. And although home loan rates will likely rise slightly as the year progresses, they are still near all-time lows right now.

In the news this week (January 24 – 28, 2011)

This week includes a full load of economic reports ranging from housing and the economy – but the big event will be the Fed meeting. We’ll discuss impact of these events in next week’s report.

  • The week started with a read on consumer attitudes with the Consumer Confidence report on Tuesday. That report will be followed by the Consumer Sentiment Index on Friday.
  • We also saw additional housing news this week, with a report on New Home Sales in December on Wednesday and the Pending Home Sales report for December on Thursday.
  • The Federal Reserve held its FOMC meeting this Tuesday and Wednesday, with the Fed’s Policy Statement released Wednesday afternoon. There’s no chance for an interest rate hike at this meeting but what the Fed says about the economy, inflation, and its Quantitative Easing program could have an impact on rates.
  • Thursday’s weekly Initial and Continuing Jobless Claims Report is important, as always. Last week, Initial Jobless Claims came in below expectations and the 4-week moving average fell from the previous week. Those readings tell us the trend in the labor market is continuing to improve, albeit at a slower pace than historically seen at this stage within an economic recovery.
  • We also got a read on the economic recovery with Durable Good Orders on Thursday. This report provides an update on consumer and business buying behavior on big-ticket items that are designed to last for an extended period of time, like furniture, televisions, appliances, vehicles, copy machines, and so on. It’s an interesting report, as people tend to hold back on these types of purchases when they are feeling a need to be extra conservative with their finances or feel insecure about their employment.
  • The GDP report will be followed on Friday with reports on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – which is the broadest measure of economic activity – and the Employment Cost Index (ECI). The ECI is one way to evaluate wage trends and the risk of wage inflation, as well as possible price pressures. This is important to the housing industry because if wage inflation threatens, it is possible home loan rates will rise through bond prices dropping.

As you can see in the chart below, bonds and home loan rates continued their negative trend to end the week worse than where they started.

Chart: Fannie Mae 4.0% Mortgage Bond (Friday, January 21, 2011)

Economic calendar for the week of January 24-28, 2011

I’m here to help you through the entire home-financing process – from application through closing – and to match you with a mortgage that’s perfect for your financial situation. Contact me today and let’s get started on achieving your home financing goals.

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West Village Market Data

The West Village has hit the new year running with a number of properties having sold in January and a number of new sale and rental listings hitting the market.  We thought we would provide some market data that local residents or those thinking about moving to our neighborhood would find useful.

West Village Market Data

We also thought it might be useful to take a look at listing activity and contracts signed over the past 90 days.  To do so, we have pulled some proprietary data, courtesy of UrbanDigs, focusing on the Village/Tribeca/SoHo sub-market.  As you can see, the number of active listings has crept up about 15% to just shy of 525 this month.  That increase is in line with historical seasonal trends caused by the temporary delisting of property in December.  The number of listings going into contract correlates nicely with the active listing trend, signifying a healthy market.  We can expect to see increases in each, especially after February, as we move into the spring before they decrease again during the summer months.

Village-Tribeca-SoHo Sub-market Data - Courtesy of Urban Digs

Below you will find a recent sale and recent rental transaction that recently occurred in the West Village.

1 Morton Square – 1,971sf, 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 828sf of private outdoor space, 24 hour doorman and concierge, on-site garage, gym, and children’s playroom, condo

$18,500 per month


695 Washington Street, 1,470sf, 2 bedroom, 2 bath, private garage, common garden, co-op (in contract)



 

$1,995,000

 



 

If you are interested in selling, purchasing, or leasing property in the Village, or anothe


Manhattan or Brooklyn neighborhood please feel free to reach out to our team for a free consultation by calling (212) 400-4838, or by e-mailing yourkeytothecity@AkerlyRE.com.

 

 

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