by Laura Matiz
My customers ask me which listing website they should use for their apartment searches. This used to be an easy answer: use The New York Times. For many years, the NYT was the go-to source, combining listings from most of the major and minor brokerage firms. The NYT served the role of a multiple listing service (MLS), common in most areas of the country, but non-existing in NYC. But times have changed. It is rare now that I get a customer that is using the NYT listings. So, what are the new alternatives?
by Laura Matiz
As anyone in the market for real estate knows, mortgage rates have been dropping, reaching their lowest levels in 16 months. The last time rates crossed the psychological barrier of 4% for fixed rates was in June 2013. These new low rates are likely to generate a lot of activity in the refinancing market, with current owners looking to trim their monthly costs, especially if they missed the opportunity because unemployment or other factors disqualified them last time rates were this low.
For new buyers needing to finance their purchase, watching the rates board will become a sport as they try to lock in at the bottom of the market. These low rates might fuel new activity, especially with the Financial Times and others publications expecting rates to fall even further because of the skittish financial outlook, with global issues, such as the Ebola crisis, the new cold war with Russia, and the rise of ISIS in the middle east, taking hold.
by Laura Matiz
Are drones the next big thing in real estate marketing? I don't think so, especially in New York. A number of recent articles have featured the use of drones, or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), for real estate marketing, usually featuring an impressive fly-over of a luxurious mansion, touting the possibilities. What is clear is that currently the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) restricts the use of these devices for such purposes. The use of drones for commercial purposes is illegal in almost all cases and the FAA has taken action against real estate firms that have used such aerial photography.
With the influx of foreign buyers to the New York City market and the addition of numerous condominium developments, it has been easy to spot the lackluster performance of co-ops versus condos. Warburg Realty president, Frederick Peters, takes this issue on in his most recent blog post, "Can Co-ops Keep Up?".
Peters points out that more buyers are "opting out for the simplicity of condo purchases." He lays out a series of recommendations that were part of a brainstorm among industry leaders. Unfortunately, he doesn't describe that forum, but the recommendations include some sensible changes. Here they are with our comments:
As anxious co-op sellers routinely watch qualified buyers opt for condos, we are pleased that an industry leader is trying to address these concerns.