Friday Link-o-Rama

  • Doug checks in with news from 485 Fifth Avenue, which had been on its way to becoming condominiums: "The sponsor of the condo conversion of 485 Fifth Avenue has filed an amendment to the offering plan abandoning the offering. The hotel business is on fire in Manhattan right now. Rumors are swirling around the industry that this, paired with the cooler condo market, is resulting in some developers converting their projects back to hotels. Similar rumors are have been overheard about The Stanhope conversion. Looks like Manhattan is getting some of its hotels back and less condo inventory will be hitting the market than originally planned. All good news for the future of real estate in Manhattan. One other note: The developer of 485 Fifth is not only refunding all contract deposits immediately, but they are also paying full commissions to brokers who procured buyers for the project. A very classy move."
  • Robin Finn of The New York Times wants you to meet Councilman Daniel R. Garodnick, whose district includes Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village: "’I did not expect one-fifth of my Council district to go up for sale,’ he says. ‘In a beautiful world, MetLife would recognize that not only do they have an opportunity to make a profit here, but they have an opportunity to do right by the city by dealing directly and fairly with the people who live here. But how much affordability do you get out of $5 billion? Not much.’ His math puts it at $450,000 per unit; perhaps not too steep for young professionals like him, who pay market-rate rents of about $2, 700 to $3,200, for one-bedroom apartments, but too much for many of his neighbors."
  • Trulia is asking lots of experts to to predict various housing numbers. Good idea.
  • Foreclosure auctions are not for the first-time investor.
  • More talk of re-listing homes.
  • A report of kleptomania at a New York City brokerage.
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