NYTimes Bidding Wars article

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Bidding Wars Resume

Published: November 13, 2009

A TWO-BEDROOM apartment on the Upper West Side is listed at $1.595 million and sells within two weeks after nine prospective buyers race to outbid one another, ultimately pushing the price to nearly $1.8 million.

Sound like the pandemonium of the last real estate boom More

Atlantic Yards developer gets OK to take land

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By Theresa Agovino

Court backs Forest City Ratner’s use of eminent domain to redevelop 22 acres in downtown Brooklyn, clearing biggest of hurdles to financing the mixed-use project.

Developer Forest City Ratner Cos. won a critical victory on Tuesday when New York’s highest court ruled that the state could use eminent domain to clear the site of the company’s planned $4.9 billion More

AOL loses Running Man Logo :(

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AOL loses Running Man logo

Once, he romped with Sharon Stone, now he’s out in the cold.

By Michael Learmonth, AdAge.com

Did AOL—er, Aol.—just kick Running Man out of bed? AOL staffers stuffed the ballots at Advertising Week to earn Running Man “icon” status, beating out the likes of Ronald McDonald. But he’s gone More

U.S. Mortgage Rates Fall for 3rd Consecutive Week

BLOOMBERG:

U.S. Mortgage Rates Fall for Third Consecutive Week

By Brian Louis

Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) — Rates for 30-year fixed U.S. home loans fell for the third straight week, offering a boost to potential buyers who may use a government tax credit to purchase homes. The 15-year rate declined to a record low.

The 30-year rate dropped to 4.83 percent from 4.91 percent, the lowest since May, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac of McLean, Virginia, said today in a statement. The average 15-year rate fell to 4.32 percent, the lowest since records began in 1991.

Low mortgage costs and a tax credit for first-time homebuyers have helped increase demand for property this year. President Barack Obama signed legislation this month to extend the credit and expand it to include some current homeowners, which may lead to rising sales.

“We’re not getting a huge bounce,” in demand, said Donald Rissmiller, chief economist at New York-based Strategas Research Partners LLC. “At some point we have to get beyond just flat.”

Federal Reserve bond purchases from Fannie MaeFreddie Mac and Ginnie Mae, which package home loans into securities, brought down yields on the bonds this year, allowing lenders to reduce rates on new loans while still selling the securities backed by them at a profit.

The central bank pledged to buy up to $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities bonds, helping drive mortgage rates to a record low of 4.78 percent in April.

The central bank’s purchasing program is scheduled to end in the first quarter of next year, the Federal Open Market Committee said on Sept. 23. It reiterated those plans this month.

The tax credit for first-time buyers was set to expire Nov. 30. Uncertainty over whether the credit would be extended may have prompted homebuilders to hold off on construction and led to a decline in housing starts in October.

“That definitely had a dampening effect on housing demand over the last month,” said Celia Chen, senior director at Moody’s Economy.com in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “Demand measures will pick up again in coming months.”

Commerce Department figures showed starts fell 11 percent to an annual rate of 529,000 in October, the lowest level since April.

$3 Billion Stuytown Mortgage being transferred

StuyTown_001according to Crains:

The $3 billion mortgage that financed the purchase of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village has been transferred to special servicing firm, a signal that the borrowers are likely to default.

Tishman Speyer Properties and BlackRock Realty paid a record $5.4 billion for the sprawling rent-regulated apartment complex in 2006. More