Some people like to go on about how New York City is "anti-development," due to zoning and slow change, and that that's what's making the housing market bonkers this year. That's not really true, though I appreciate the frustrations of trying to develop in the City, which are endless. What made New York real estate crazy in the last year, and along the way shoved the rental vacancy rate well below 1%, was a combination of basically negligible interest rates for residential buyers (who then bought up literally everything in Brooklyn) and a bunch of development plans that went bust or at least stalled during the recession, because buildings are [...]
Bank of America is paying just $20 million for having foreclosed improperly on 160 active-duty military service personnel. (This, of course, was frequent predatory lender suit-settler Countrywide in action; Bank of America purchased Countrywide in January, 2008, for $4.1 billion in stock, and has paid for it more and more ever since, including the former CEO's SEC settlements.) But $20 million! That's nothing, in the grand scheme of the forthcoming housing disaster. For one thing, there are about half as many foreclosed houses being sold now as there were two years go: at this new pace, "it would take exactly three years to clear the [...]
1. Probably not, seeing as the people who own the houses are retaining titles left and right because apparently few financial institutions can actually follow the foreclosure guidelines. Bad news for Nevada, Arizona and California, where about half of home sales are of foreclosed houses.
2. Also you probably should not buy a foreclosed house if you already have one that you're living in and the marshals are banging at the door. (You should, however, get a lawyer!)
As the data has suggested for some time, we're doing well with our plan to put a million people out of their homes this year. "One of every 78 U.S. housing units, or 1.28% of the total, was subject to at least one foreclosure filing in the first six months of the year. That's a total of 1.65 million properties." By the way, how correlated are unemployment and foreclosure rates? Math explains: quite.
Jay-Z has been dipping his toes in the political waters of late. First, he and Beyonce showed up at the White House (which was stellar). Then, he surfaced as entrenched in an imbroglio (not so stellar) with the New York Guv, a potential Queens "racino," and Rev. Floyd Flake, the borough's behemoth ex-Congressman-cum-powerbroker. Then the governor, even while busy swimming in a flood of scandal, killed the deal. And yesterday, Jay-Z appeared standing shoulder-to-shoulder with dozens of New York politicos and dignitaries to take a big step towards building his dream: a stadium for the Brooklyn Nets. And lots of people are peeved about it. [...]