Housing Price Low Mark

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

After 3 years of falling prices, data released yesterday shows the market may have hit bottom. Jhoanna Robledo of New York Magazine talks about the new numbers.

If you’ve bought or sold a home recently, what was your experience? Are prices on the rise again?


Jhoanna Robledo

Comments [14]

barnacle bertha from red hook bklyn

and the last bit of information:

Spoke with my lawyer: the mortgage company filed UCC paperwork, effectively placing a record of us having a mortgage, which would then impede our ability to negotiate with another company.....

Jul. 29 2009 04:52 PM
barnacle bertha from red hook bklyn

Note we close on the apartment this week!!

Jul. 29 2009 12:28 PM
barnacle bertha from red hook bklyn

After months of searching want ads, doing our homework and educating ourselves about the market, and looking at least 20 more places we found the perfect apartment. We offered the asking price, which was below market, and it was accepted.

Getting a mortgage was impossible. Although we were preapproved, we locked in at 4.93% rate. After being asked for OVER documentation (multiple copies of the same documents, underwriters combing through the building's finances and various other stalling techniques, we were told that we did not get the mortgage. Note that we are both fully employed in relatively stable jobs, with very good credit histories and less than $5000 in debt.

My well informed husband believed that this was deliberate on the mortgage company's part, in an attempt to get out of our low rate. He started to pursue owner financing.

Despite requests for our denial in writing, we did not receive a letter until after our contract expired.

We checked the website on the day before the contract expired and found that they issued a commitment letter that day, which meant that our closing would be after our 4.93% mortgage rate lock in period expired. This would effectively force us to renegotiate with the mortgage company at a higher rate, or lose our deposit.

Two days later, we received via email a denial letter and found an updated (same date as the email) commitment letter that we did qualify.

Happily, we had a motivated seller who offered us an opportunity that is mutually beneficial. The terms are shorter (15 years not our preferred 30, but a comparable interest rate) and the payment will be significantly higher each month, but still within reason.

Thank God we aren't going to have a long term relationship with that mortgage company.

Jul. 29 2009 12:17 PM
barnacle bertha from red hook bklyn

We looked at apartments and coops for 3 years. Until last fall, most in our price range were rent controlled or stabilized buildings that were converting to coop. Many were apartments in which the tenants were evicted.

At one building in Brooklyn, the realtor had listed an apartment that was still occupied by an elderly black woman in the process of being evicted. After that we took a break and reassessed our commitment to buy. We decided that benefitting from other's suffering was not an option. (continued)

Jul. 29 2009 12:16 PM
RE Guy from NYC

We need to digest the Case Schiller data carefully. Subprime homes led the delinquencies in 2006 and prime homes followed later. Prime homes tend to be larger and better borrowers can often hold out longer. We may be seeing a shift in composition of the stock sold - ie more larger homes are sold skewing the average price upwards. We should be looking at $sale price / square foot as a better measure....

Jul. 29 2009 11:42 AM
Michele from New York, NY

I have just purchased a 4 story building in East Harlem for 200k less than the asking price.
I hope the MTA doesn't go broke and the 2nd ave subway actually happens.

Jul. 29 2009 11:41 AM
Thaddeus from Tarrytown

...and I traded being stuck on a crowded F train between Jay St./Bergen for a gin & tonic on the Metro North.

Jul. 29 2009 11:41 AM
Thaddeus from Tarrytown

Couldn't find the space we needed in the neighborhood we wanted in Brooklyn. So we sold our Park Slope condo for cash and moved to Westchester.

Have a happy child and dog in the backyard.

Jul. 29 2009 11:38 AM

Brian, don't rush to pimp the NAR standard line. It's called a summer seasonal adjustment. Prices ALMOST ALWAYS go up from May to June. Anyone who thinks otherwise will be sorely disappointed come fall.

Prices fell slightly in May (compared to April) for the Composite 10 and Composite 20 indexes.

Seasonally adjusted, prices fell in 12 of the 20 Case Shiller cities.

There is a strong seasonal pattern to house prices, and it is important to use the SA data. Unfortunately Case-Shiller did not release the SA data earlier this morning. This has lead to numerous incorrect headlines about prices increasing from April to May. That is correct, if they mention the data is Not Seasonally Adjusted.

Jul. 29 2009 11:34 AM
Donna from Jersey City Heights

After looking for over a year, I am now under contract to purchase a 3 bedroom/2 bath condo in Jersey City Heights w/ a roof deck & view of Manhattan from the Statue of Liberty to the GWB. Current owners purchased it for $420k in 2005 - my price $295k! Such a deal!

Jul. 29 2009 11:33 AM
lauren from NJ

its the high of summer. prices are still going to go down - wait til winter. it will drop another 10% at least. prices are always higher in the summer.

Jul. 29 2009 11:32 AM
Hugh from Brooklyn, NY

To say that prices have bottomed out on the basis on one month of data is simply and categorically mistaken.

Any economist or industry expert who says otherwise is lying, pure and simple.

The Wall Street Journal or The Financial Times had an essay just a week or two ago indicating that New York is only now *beginning* to see the hit in the high-end market. For example, Donald Trump's Fifth Ave or Park Ave mansion is still on the market despite a reduction of something like 25% in the price.

Again, to call this a bottom is irresponsible shilling for the real estate industry.

Talk to Shiller over at Yale. He'll say the same thing.

Jul. 29 2009 11:32 AM
Priya from Brooklyn

My sister has been looking to buy a place here in Brooklyn. Frankly it doesn't look like prices for apartments ever went down in the areas she is looking at. In fact my neighborhood, Boerum Hill looks like it got more expensive.

Jul. 29 2009 11:32 AM
Hugh from Brooklyn, NY

"Now that housing prices have started to go up"

Uh, ... right. One month.

The New York Times exemplifies the delusional economic thinking that has dominated the US for about, oh, 30 years.

The very graphs the Times front-pages -- with tiny little circles highlighting the manna from heaven -- those very graphs also show numerous other upticks, downticks, inflection points, etc.

To rely on *one month* to sing a hallelujah is delusional at best, outright lying at worst.

Jul. 29 2009 11:05 AM

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