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The sales reported during this period in  Jan ’09 were directly impacted by Black September ’08 when Lehman Bro’s died and the financial markets went into their second tailspin in two years, so apply that rock salt to the sales numbers below.  Also keep in mind that,  here in Suffolk County, it usually takes a month or two for closed sales transactions to make its way through the County recording office and to be publicly reported. so the majority of these reported sales closed in November and most of the deals actually actually came together two to three months earlier than that (August/September).  Simply put, today’s reported sales reflect business activity that took place last summer.  Nothing like “fresh” data, eh?

                                    East End Sales Statistics ’09 vs ’10

Week Ending                              01/09/09                                      01/08/10
Number of Sales                           30                                                47
Total Dollar Amount              $51,852,223                                $39,234,870
Median Price                         $     642,500                                $     540,000
Average Price                       $   1,728,407                               $      834,784

– 10 of the 30 sales were for over $1million in 2009  (33%)

– 7 of the 47 sales were for over $1million in 2010  (15%)

It’s clear that the high-end is quieter and the low end is busier, with those who see price/value reductions of around 30% in two years finally jumping in under $1million.


The lis pendens figures are astounding, compared to last year – over 10 times as many initial filings by lenders on defaulting mortgages. Keep in mind the following:

One- the mortgage companies had a moritorium on new foreclosures last year at this time as they and the government looked for answers on what to do about the crisis and,

Two- “strategic default” was not as fashionable as it is today.

                    East End Lis Pendens Statistics  ’09 vs ’10

Week Ending                            01/09/09                                        01/08/10
Number of Filings                        3                                                  32
Total Mortgage Amount           $1,565,700                             $18,270,479
Median Mortgage                    $    500,000                            $     419,100
Average Mortgage                  $    521,900                            $      570,952

That’s the numbers!   What do you think?

**data from

Curbed Hamptons: Gere Sells, Madoff Mysteries, And More!
1) For celebrities as for the rest of us, the way to move property this summer in the Hamptons is with liberal use of the ol’ PriceChopper.

To Unload a Mansion, Many Must Turn to Auctions
New York Times
But increasingly, people with multimillion-dollar homes who need to raise money are discovering they have few alternatives, as the luxury real estate market

In ritzy East Hampton, beware the deadly tire boot!
Mother Nature Network
(Credit: Flickr/quinn.anya) You have to be tough to take a seaside vacation in the Hamptons, the billionaires’ paradise on the upscale end of Long Island.

Reverse mortgages on the rise as seniors find financial security
The Virginian-Pilot
“Money was getting kind of tight, so I called a real estate dealer I knew and told him I thought I’d sell and move up north, closer to family,

Lloyd Blankfein Misses the Mark
Who’s going to keep high-end real estate brokers busy? Who is going to keep the fancy stores on Fifth Avenue in business? (Besides tourists from China,

Gretchen Morgenson

Gretchen Morgenson

This is an interesting insight into the current mortgage/loan modification issues.

And you might have thought that your loan mod was being considered based upon the merit of your hardship…

A Reality Check on Mortgage Modification

This is clear as mud! 15% from what? Now? 2008? 2007? The “peak” of the market?

As is often the problem with reporters writing stories based upon sound bites when they don’t understand what they are writing about. It is EXACTLY this type of article that causes confusion and panic with the public. Not that there is not enough reason for concern and confusion already with the accurate and clear reporting out there.

That being said, prices have fallen 19% in Manhattan and 13% on the East End in the first quarter of 2009.

The writer refers to the Case-Schiller Index, which is a lagging report, at least 3-4 months behind the market, but is that what the economist Kenneth Rosen is referring to?  C’mon guys, Bloomberg is a big company…you can do better than this!

bloomNew York Area Home Prices to Fall 15%, Rosen Says

Thanks Glenn Kelman, for bringing this up on the Redfin Corporate Blog

So, now that the world has changed and every other friend is not a Mortgage Broker and your Stock Broker is not trying to get you to leverage your portfolio for a third home, where do you go for a mortgage?

chriscurialeI will say, as I have in the past, that Christine Curiale from Wells Fargo Private Mortgage is, hands down,the best mortgage person, broker, banker, whatever, – I have ever worked with so, you can’t go wrong with Christine. But let’s say that you can’t use her and need to decide between a mortgage broker and a mortgage lender.

Here’s something to consider:

Your Money

When to Use a Mortgage Broker

Published: April 3, 2009

21thirty-graf01-190“I want people to have more than a house, I want them to have a life, too,” Mr. Birkofer said. “The application of the 28/36 rule can be an eye opener and a ‘go slow’ or ‘reform now’ sign.” The original maxim of a week’s pay for a month’s rent was also based on take-home pay, given that it predates the federal income tax system, which formally started in 1913, said Danilo Pelletiere, research director at the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

see complete story here

thanks to Glenn Kelman for bringing this story to our attention

27east_logo Wow! This hits close to home and shows that ‘the man” is on the hunt. We’ll undoubtedly see more of this in the future.

Former Suffolk County Legislator George O. Guldi of Westhampton Beach and four other people were arraigned Wednesday for their alleged role in a $50 million mortgage fraud scheme targeting more than 50 properties on the East End.

see story here

UPDATE: Daily News

S&M big Donald MacPherson says he bought Long Island homes as investment – but took a beating

UPDATE: East Hampton Star

D.A. Explains Mortgage Fraud Charges
Against Former Legislator and Six Others


Bank of America has cut interest rates on jumbo mortgage loans in the hopes of expanding its share of what the bank sees as an underserved market for loans too big for purchase or guarantee by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

see complete post here

also see here


(03/19/2009)    South Fork real estate professionals are bristling at national news stories about dismal market conditions this winter that they say have done nothing to help.

On Monday, Michael Daly’s Hamptons Real Estate blog pointed out that the number of pre-foreclosure filings on eastern Long Island last week was almost the same as the number of sales. Within hours, The Telegraph, a London-based newspaper, used those statistics to spin out a story titled “Hamptons Hit by Recession.”

Bristling is an interesting word.

bris·tle play_w2(“B0486800”) (brsl)


1. A stiff hair.
2. A stiff hairlike structure: the bristles of a wire brush.
v. bris·tled, bris·tling, bris·tles

1. To stand stiffly on end like bristles: The hair on the dog’s neck bristled.
2. To raise the bristles: The cat bristled at the sight of the large dog.
3. To react in an angry or offended manner: The author bristled at the suggestion of plagiarism.
4. To be covered or thick with or as if with bristles: The path bristled with thorns.
I would imagine that the author was using the term as in #3 above.
There are still some brokers who are spewing the same old “now’s a great time to buy” campaign they did in 2005 and have NO IDEA how that makes comsumers bristle and fuels the mistrust and lack of respect these consumers have for real estate agents.
The truth is that values in several sectors of East End real estate are down between 20-35% to roughly 2004 levels and now would be a good time to buy for some people, depending on their situation.
Affordability – for some first time home buyers, a home on the East End is finally in reach, providing you have a secure income and terrific credit – or are a cash buyer. Interest rates at 5% are a real cost saver, and check into First Time Homebuyer Tax Credits too. Some programs qualify you as  a first time home buyer if you haven’t owned a home in over 3-4 years. Ask your mortgage broker.
Investment – some homes could be a good buy, depending on how the property fits into your strategy. If you expect to rent it to cover your payments, you might want to think again. The number of rentals are reportedly down 75% or more and rental prices are taking a hit, too. Perhaps as much as 10-20% (or more in some cases).  Future appreciation is a cloudy picture as well. After the late 80’s /early 90’s recession, prices stayed flat for nearly a decade. Yes, the circumstances were different but a recession is like a bruise and takes time to heal.
That being said there are still some unknowns:
The Bottom– are we at bottom? Can’t say. With all the government bail out programs coming out, it’s possible that consumer confidence and capital availability will improve, making this a “bottom” for some markets.  It appears that several markets like pockets of Florida, California and Arizona are seeing an increase in buying, but that appears to be a result of prices falling 50% or more to 2000-2002 levels, making it “a terrific time to buy” in those markets. Also, in many of the markets that are seeing an up-tic in sales, as much as 50% of the sales are foreclosures.  That’s not happening here, on the East End and frankly, we don’t know if it ever will.
In addition to the national scene, we have the direct impact of what’s happening to Wall Street jobs, compensation, etc affecting our market. Not that ALL clients and customers are Wall Street people, but approximately 1/3 of mine over the years have been and probably another 1/3 have made their money from the robust New York economy. Oddly enough, Wall Street has helped to insulate the East End market in the past, it is possibly serving as the double-whammy at present.  Time will tell how deep and long this downturn lasts.  I love (despise) the “pundits’ who say “Prices are going down another 35% !!!”  How the hell do they know? I put my crystal ball in the closet after September 2008…it let me down.
The Rental Card – One thing is for sure: The rental business has been a big part of the income and investment strategy for many homeowners here on the East End, especially the South Fork. While everyone (except the most jaded, cynical and jealous) is hoping that warm spring weather and the stimulus package will bring improved confidence and spending to the market through rentals and sales, fact is that if this rental season doesn’t take off, there will be some serious pain as a result. Rental income has gone a long way in keeping many homeowners and investors afloat and in maintaining values.  Even though rentals have gone from the old rule of thumb – 10% of  real estate value for the Memorial Day to Labor Day season, to more like 4-5% in recent years, it will be sorely missed if it reduces dramatically or goes away for some.  This will also impact the service businesses, foodmarkets, restaurants and retailers.
Conforming Loans – Keep in mind, the current government programs to support mortgage companies modifying loans only covers conforming loans, which are those under approximately $625,000.  Many of the lis pendens’ we are seeing recently are over that amount.  Call your mortgage broker (if they’re still in business) or find someone doing loan modifications to answer questions about your particular situation.
Loan Modifications – This is basically a “Collection” department for the banks and lenders, so you have to know what you’re doing. It may be tempting to “do it yourself”, but unless you have a personal relationship with your mortgage banker who can keep an eye on your modification, I would seek out a professional.  I know a good one. Call or email me if you want to speak to her.
Take Action -There are still many sellers and agents who are holding on, hoping, wishing and praying that things are going to turn around and the market conditions are going to improve.  If you need to sell your property or you need to make a living, you might want to lower your price or change your approach to the market.  Wishing, hoping and praying is not a strategy or a plan.
see the complete East Hampton Star article here


All cash deals: Green is the new black

By Candace Taylor, The Real Deal New York
As market fears kick in, all-cash deals soar

2008-12-02_123311And Michael Daly, the principal broker at True North Realty Associates in the Hamptons, said some 75 percent of his deals are all cash right now. He recently represented the all-cash buyers of a $2 million Shelter Island home and a house in Westhampton Beach that sold for $7.5 million in cash.

Others have been amassing cash in recent months in anticipation of real estate bargains, Daly said.

“A lot of people have gone heavy into cash over the course of the last year,” he said. “They’re waiting for the bottom — in all types of investments. For those who feel that the bottom is here, it’s time to make a move.”

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