Showing posts with label REBNY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label REBNY. Show all posts

Mar 11, 2017

NYC Buyers and Sellers Beware!

I started this blog in 2006 and have been publishing it for more than 10 years. While the industry has undergone changes the "more it changes the more it stays the same" only different names and players.

In an early blog post back in July of 2006, (July 2006- creating-my-blog.htmlI told readers my blog's mission. I wanted to create a transparent blog about buying and selling Real Estate in Manhattan because the New York City housing market is so unique. Buying and selling a home in NYC is very different and more complex than any place else in the country. Generic real estate information was proliferating online that was not relevant to NYC housing.

Cooperative apartment ownership is the primary form of home ownership in New York City.
Co-op ownership requires submitting a comprehensive Board application (called a Board Package), being interviewed by the Board, and being approved. Helping a buyer pass a coop board is an important skill needed by the agent. A skill developed from training, experience and knowledge of a particular building.

At the time I started this blog in 2006 there was a cottage industry emerging of companies called "lead generatorsthird party lead generator sites and traffic aggregators from out of state. Some had actual broker's licenses and received referral fees but many were masquerading as Manhattan real estate brokers on the Internet through paid search and keywords sending consumers to their anonymous landing pages that captured their information that they forwarded to agents that paid for the leads. 

Consumers eventually caught on to the "Lead Capture" scheme and most decided they preferred to search listings anonymously without having to give up their personal contact information knowing they would be solicited by all those that paid to capture their information. 

After the lead generators, came the portals such as Zillow, Trulia and and the independent NYC website StreetEasy that provided transparent NYC property listings.

Zillow, Trulia and were not able to penetrate the complex NYC real estate market as they so easily did in markets in the rest of the country. So Zillow paid $50 million for StreetEasy after it bought Trulia in order to break into the unique NYC real estate market, the largest and peculiarly complex often puzzling to outsiders.

Zillow Group, a Seattle Washington based publicly traded company made many changes to the transparent NYC StreetEasy particularly aggressive monetization. As a media company rather than a licensed broker involved in a real estate transaction their revenue is generated by advertising. 

They don't sell "leads" they sell "impressions" Their business model is their business and should not concern you the consumer unless you are seeking transparency rather than confusion

Consumers beware! You are their commodity. Broker's listings are their content. They want your information so they can give your contact information to brokers and agents that bought zip codes that capture buyers looking for listings in a given zip code. 

Beware when searching for a listing. The so-called "agent expert" "for information" may not be an expert at all. They purchased the right to your contact information buy purchasing "impressions" for a particular zip code.

New media companies blur the distinction between advertising and editorial content. Newspapers must run a disclaimer "Advertising" when the distinction is blurred and may confuse. It's called an advertorial. The editorial content on these websites is not provided by journalists such as the articles written in the New York Times real estate section but rather by the brokers who are hired by sellers to exclusively list and market their property. The broker's listings have been "monetized" by these "aggregator" websites. The listing agent information is either eliminated or very difficult to find so they can send traffic for that listing to their paid "premier agent" instead. 

If you are a buyer looking for a property in a particular zip code you may be sent to either the agent who purchased that zip code "impression" or someone at the website. You may get an agent in Ohio even though you're looking for a coop on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The agent in Ohio that purchased a NYC zip code will try to sell or receive a referral fee for your contact info to another more local agent. The local agent may or may not have ever sold anything on the Upper West Side. 

The property you're interested in may already have an accepted offer, it may be gone by the time all the third party payees get back to you. Don't worry they will try to sell you something else since they have no particular knowledge, interest or relation with the seller of the property you may be interested in. 

"Too many cooks spoil the broth"

Before you click for information make sure you know who you want to contact. If you want to go directly to the source contact Listing Agent or Seller's Agent or just visit the scheduled open house. Unless the building prohibits open houses Sunday open houses are still the best way to go in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

If you want buyer representation you should find a good buyer's agent to represent you. In NY state you are entitled to your own representation. The NY state disclosure form will help you make informed choices about your relationship with the real estate broker and it's agents. 

You should do some research in order to find and work with a good buyer's agent. An experienced knowledgeable agent with specific neighborhood and building experience. There are many good agents in NYC that are REBNY (Real Estate Board of New York) members that can represent you that don't advertise or purchase "impressions" on other broker's listings in order to find buyers. *

"The more things change...the more they stay the same. Just different players.
 Here is an article I wrote back in 2006 about rental listings on Craigslist.

 Craiglist - No broker fee and bait and switch Craig Newmark the founder of Craigslist left a comment: 

Hey, please help me out and quote me right.
 I've pointed out that I've been working on this for a few years, and have handled thousands of cases.
 I've kicked off many unethical agents, have handled a few such cases already.
Since all real estate is local, I started this blog to give a local perspective of the Manhattan real estate market. If you would like to discuss this post, the market in general or anything about New York City real estate please reach out to meI'm always happy to talk to people at any stage of the Real Estate process and can discuss the opportunities in each neighborhood, price point, room count and type of ownership.

6. Advertisements referencing property not listed with broker. Any advertisement that references or includes information about a property that is not listed with the advertising broker or was not sold by the advertising broker shall prominently display the following disclaimer: “This advertisement does not suggest that the broker has a listing or has done a transaction in this property or properties.” Such advertisement: (i) shall not, absent consent provided pursuant to subdivision (b)(2)(b) of this section, suggest, directly or indirectly that the advertising broker was involved in the transaction and (ii) shall not refer to property currently listed with another broker. 

Legal Disclaimer: Mitchell Hall, a NY State licensed real estate associate broker associated with The Corcoran Group and member of the Real Estate Board of New York is author of this article. The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policy of The Corcoran Group

Apr 29, 2016

REBNY Residential Sales Report for 1Q of 2016

1Q2016 Residential Sales Report Recap
The REBNY Residential Sales Report for the first quarter of 2016 was released earlier this week. Some of the highlights include increases in total consideration for citywide residential sales and the number of home sales in the city. 

Total consideration in NYC in the first quarter was $10,771,285,122, a seven percent increase from the first quarter of last year. The total number of citywide sales recorded was 11,827, a five percent increase when compared to the first quarter in 2015. The following tables also include the breakdown of these statistics by borough.

Source: Mike Slattery, 
REBNY Research 

Jun 4, 2015

NYC Real Property Tax Levy for Fiscal Year 2016

The NYC Department of Finance released the Fiscal Year 2016 Final Assessment Roll.  The final assessment roll is the schedule of taxable values that property taxes are based on.  Using this data, REBNY Research calculated the total amount of property taxes projected to be levied (Real Property Tax Levy) in the upcoming fiscal year.

The Real Property Tax Levy for Fiscal Year 2016 will be $23.974 billion, assuming there is no change in the average tax rate.  Should the average tax rate for all property classes stay the same for FY 2016 as it has since FY 2010, NYC is due for another large increase in the Real Property Tax Levy, $1.383 billion.

The only occurrences of larger increases in the levy were in FY 2003 and 2004 and FY 2009 and 2010. In these years, the levy increase was due to a significant increase in the average tax rate.   Here are the annual tax levy increases from 2001 to 2016.

source: REBNY Research

Apr 21, 2015

Landmarking, Housing Production and Demographics in NYC


A study by REBNY (Real Estate Board of NY)
New York City’s Landmarks Law turns 50 this year, but unlike the City’s zoning code which has seen countless updates and revisions over its century-long history, the City’s Landmarks Law remains virtually unchanged since its inception.
New York City’s Landmarks Law created four types of landmarks: individual, interior, scenic and historic districts—our study focused on individual landmarks and historic districts. For the Commission to designate an individual landmark or historic district—the two types of landmarks on which our study focused—certain eligibility criteria must be met. Generally, an individual landmark may be a building, any part of which is 30 years or older, that has special character or special historic or aesthetic interest or value as part of the development, heritage or cultural characteristic of the City, State or nation. “Special” is not defined. An historic district may be any area containing buildings that have a special character or special historical or aesthetic interest or value; represent at least one period or style of architecture typical of one or more eras in the City’s history; and by reason of such factors, constitutes a distinct section of the city. It does not offer criteria to determine if “distinct” means the section is valuable to the City’s history.
New landmarks and historic districts are frequently added but old designations are rarely if ever revisited. And while the City’s Landmarks Law has stayed the same, the politics have evolved. Small but sophisticated civic and neighborhood groups have used the Law to effectively control development in their neighborhoods, oftentimes at the detriment of larger City housing needs.
While the number of landmarks steadily rises, the rate of landmarking—particularly the creation of historic districts that contain hundreds or in some cases even thousands of properties—has dramatically increased over the last ten years.
At the same time, the City continues to have a chronic housing shortage. For more than fifty years, the City has had a housing emergency, which is defined as a rental vacancy rate below five percent. Such a vacancy rate inflates rents and eliminates competition that might result in lower housing costs. Recently Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an ambitious housing plan to create and preserve an unprecedented amount of housing over the next decade to address this issue. Data collected from City records suggests that New York City’s approach to designating and administering historic properties may be making it much more difficult to create new housing—particularly affordable housing.
This paper analyzes landmarking data, demographic statistics, and housing production in New York City—with a focus on Manhattan and Brooklyn—to take a quantitative look at the relationship between landmarking and housing creation.  The findings make it clear that landmark designation, and particularly historic district designation, has in fact placed significant constraints on new housing production, especially affordable housing.
From this research it is our conclusion that it is time for New York City’s Landmarks Law to evolve and to properly balance preservation with the need for more housing creation.

Feb 12, 2015

Broker's Bullish on NYC Real Estate

Real estate brokers’ confidence in the fourth quarter of 2014 reached the highest level since the inception of the Real Estate Board of New York's (REBNY) Broker Confidence Index in spring 2012.
The Broker Confidence Index rose to 9.22 this past quarter, from 8.80 in the third quarter of 2014 and 9.00 in the fourth quarter of 2013. Both residential and commercial brokers reported increased levels of confidence in the market now and six months from now, due to healthy activity and the steady rise in prices.
The Residential Broker Confidence Index increased to 8.85 in the fourth quarter of 2014, from 8.23 in the third quarter of 2014 and 8.52 in the fourth quarter of 2013. Brokers attributed this increase to the steady rise in pricing for sales and rentals, as well as the robust level of sustainable activity. While residential brokers’ confidence in the rental market tempered more than their confidence in the sales market, lack of inventory has continued to be a major concern for all residential brokers as prices are expected to continue rising with the current inventory shortage.
They also urged the need for more affordable housing as most of the new developments coming to the market now are luxury condos.
The Commercial Broker Confidence Index increased to 9.60 in the fourth quarter of 2014, from 9.38 last quarter and 9.49 last year. Commercial brokers commented on strong financing and market activity, particularly within the TAMI (Technology, Advertising, Media and Information) sector and in Lower Manhattan.
REBNY’s Broker Confidence Index is a collection of responses from an online survey given to REBNY’s residential and commercial brokerage division members.

Oct 28, 2014

NY Real Estate Broker Confidence Index | 3Q- 201 4


The Real Estate Board of New York’s Real Estate Broker Confidence Index for the third quarter of 2014 showed that broker’s confidence decreased slightly compared to last quarter from 8.88 to 8.80.

Both residential and commercial brokers’ confidence marginally decreased, with commercial brokers’ confidence slightly higher than residential brokers. This has been the case since the first quarter of 2013.

Although confidence levels have not dropped below 8.80 in 2014, confidence in the market has slipped since the beginning of 2014, decreasing in both confidence in the current market and confidence in how well the market will do in the near future.

The Residential Broker Confidence Index decreased from 8.30 to 8.23 this quarter, and is the same as it was one year ago in the third quarter of 2013. Residential brokers have identified the lack of inventory as a major issue in each survey for the past year, and this quarter was no different.

Brokers mentioned seeing an abundance of new ultra high end developments going up around Manhattan, but that the real need is for middle-income housing throughout the City.

 The popularity of new neighborhoods in the outer boroughs was a positive factor in the market for our residential brokers.

The Commercial Broker Confidence Index was 9.38 this quarter, down from 9.45 in the last quarter. Commercial confidence levels have been high since the survey began, never dropping below 9.0 since the first quarter of 2013.

Commercial broker comments and concerns about the market were more varied than the residential brokers. For Commercial brokers a growing tech sector is a positive sign for the office market, creating strong demand and diminishing supply. Commercial brokers are confident as a result of the increased leasing activity in Midtown South.

Download full report

Aug 28, 2014

NYC - Location Affordability


Mike Slattery, Senior Vice President, REBNY Research Department published very interesting numbers in the REBNY Reaserch newsletter. The Citizen’s Budget Commission has issued a series of reports comparing New York City's affordability to that of the 21 largest cities in the country.  
They also compared the competitiveness of New York City using a concept of “location affordability” developed by the U. S, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) which includes the cost of transportation as well as housing, usually the two largest items in a household’s budget.  According to HUD’s Location Affordability Index (LAI) that measures these two costs, a household paying more than 45 percent of their income for these costs is overburdened.

New York City has the sixth highest housing costs of the 21 major cities (See Figure 2 below).  However, New York City has the lowest annual transportation costs of the cities surveyed, primarily the result of the majority of commuters using public transportation (See figure 3 below). 


As a result, based on HUD’s LAI New Yorkers devote 32 percent of their income to housing and transportation, well below the 45 percent level established by HUD to signify an affordability problem.  Of the 21 cities surveyed by the Citizens Budget Commission, New York City was the third most affordable location according to the HUD LAI (See Figure 6).

Apr 29, 2014

New Residential Building Permits

New Residential Building Permits 1Q 2014
  • Building permits for new residential units in March totaled 3,423, an increase of 170 percent from February, and a 627 percent increase from March 2013.
  • Building Permits for new residential units in the first quarter of 2014 are up 111 percent compared to the first quarter 2013.
  • Manhattan was the borough with the most building permits for new residential units in March with 1,463 units, followed by Brooklyn with 846 units and then Queens with 780 units.
  • High numbers in Manhattan are due to the filing of two large residential buildings, one at 855 6th Avenue and another at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue.  

Source: REBNY Resource Department
Courtesy of:  REBNY


Dec 8, 2013

NYC Employment By Industry

REBNY research reports the employment recovery in NYC and the country since the financial 
crisis in 2008 has been sluggish. Although jobs have increased overall in the city, some industries 
are faring better than others.

The largest gainer in employment over the period from the October bottom of the recession to now was Educational Services with an increase of 22.5%  Important for the office market, Professional and Business Services increased 13.6% from the October low of the recession.  

Also important for the office market, Financial Activities, is only up 3.5% from October 2009. 
Construction employment is still down .8% from October 2009 despite signs of new residential 
and office development around the city.

                        NYC Employment Oct. 2009               NYC Employment Oct. 2013

All Industries 3,688.70 3,999.90
Professional and Business Services 563.3 640
Health Care and Social Services 575.4 627.7
Financial Activities 427.1 442.1
Leisure and Hospitality 314.9 379.4
Retail Trade 296.3 339.1
Education Services 171.6 210.2
Construction 120.1 119.1
Real Estate 108.3 110.3

Change in Employment % Change in Employment
All Industries 311.20 8.4%
Professional and Business Services 76.7 13.6%
Health Care and Social Services 52.3 9.1%
Financial Activities 15 3.5%
Leisure and Hospitality 64.5 20.5%
Retail Trade 42.8 14.4%
Education Services 38.6 22.5%
Construction -1 -0.8%
Real Estate                                           2 1.8%
Source: NYS Department of Labor
Numbers in thousands

REBNY Research Department

Nov 22, 2013

Broker confidence down slightly in 3Q

 Broker confidence down slightly in 3Q

New York City continues to be one of the most prosperous and dynamic real estate markets in the world.  However, expectations about future market performance were disrupted by the recent government shutdown and debt ceiling debate.

Last week, REBNY released its Real Estate Broker Confidence Index (“Index”), which polls hundreds of real estate brokers working throughout the City each quarter.  The Index survey consists of eight questions that ask participants to assess the current market and their expectations of the market six months from now.

Overall confidence for the Third Quarter of 2013 decreased slightly compared to last quarter, due primarily to concerns about political uncertainty in Washington and the lack of residential inventory.  The City’s brokers also lowered expectations for their six-month outlook, even though they reported strong confidence in present financing conditions.

Residential brokers were mainly concerned about the low production of affordable housing and increasing high end developments coming to the market, which is skewing the market in favor of very high income buyers, many reported to be non-New York City residents.  Despite these concerns, residential brokers are hopeful that more developments favoring various household incomes will come to the market, improving the local economy and housing market.

The latest increase in brokers’ confidence in the current market was chiefly due to the increase in confidence in the financing market for commercial real estate sales, for which an index of 10 was recorded.  By contrast, the residential financing average response was a 6.16, the lowest we’ve seen.  It is likely that confidence is being deflated by federal budget uncertainty coupled with more stringent Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae lending criteria.

Both residential and commercial brokers showed concern about the market six months from now due to the recent government standstill and the effect that any decisions will have on interest rates and the economy as a whole. We hope that a long-term resolution of the budget and borrowing issues in Washington will ignite a burst of confidence in the market and a pick-up in new residential construction activity to serve all New Yorkers..

A full copy of the REBNY Broker Confidence Index can be found at

Sep 25, 2013

Does Landmarking Curtail Affordable Housing Development in Manhattan?

Study Finds No Affordable Units Created in Landmarked Districts Since 2008;
Study Finds Decline in Diversity, Higher Incomes in Historic Districts

A study by REBNY (The Real Estate Board of New York) finds designating large swaths of Manhattan as landmarked districts has stifled the creation of affordable housing in New York City, according to a press release issued by the Real Estate Board of New York. 

Their analysis found that since 2008, zero units of affordable housing have been constructed in landmarked districts in Manhattan, with just five units built since 2003.  There were 8,070 new affordable housing units built borough-wide from 2003-2012. 
In addition, of the 53,220 new residential units built in Manhattan during the 10-year period, a mere 1.9% -- 998 units – were in landmarked districts.

According to the study, census data shows that residents within landmark districts have significantly higher household incomes and are dramatically less diverse than other areas of Manhattan and New York City.

REBNY singled out density restrictions, landmark compliance costs, and a lengthy public review process as main reasons why housing and particularly affordable housing development is extremely unlikely on landmarked sites. 

A July 2013 study by REBNY concluded that landmarking in Manhattan is growing at a rapid rate, with nearly 30 percent of properties protected by landmark regulations.   In some neighborhoods, such as the Upper West Side and SoHo/Greenwich Village, the level of protected properties has reached a staggering 70 percent. Given this and REBNY’s most recent study, it is clear that certain areas of Manhattan are closing off opportunities for affordable housing for future generations. 

In addition to new construction, 114 affordable units were created through renovation – all built before 2008 on City-owned properties, with 85% of these units located within West Harlem’s Hamilton Heights/Sugar Hill Historic Districts and none south of 87th Street.

As a proud member of the residential brokerage division of REBNY, I appreciate all their analysis and lobbying efforts on behalf of the real estate industry and NYC economy. The study makes sense because landmarking curtails all new construction development. 

The whole idea of landmarking and preservation to preserve the historic and architectural integrity of a neighborhood or building. Unfortunately that includes affordable housing new construction developments. I'm pro development but I'm also pro landmarking. Not every neighborhood and building should be designated a landmark without a valid reason but every 19th century townhouse shouldn't be razed for a new glass sliver building. I beleive in moderation.

 As a broker who specializes in affordable housing the term "affordable" and "low income" in Manhattan is subjective. I have sold many HDFC coops in Manhattan. These "affordable" and "low income" coops are for households with maximum incomes of 120% to 165% of the NY metropolitan area as determined annually by HUD. 

The median income of the NY metro area for 2013 is $85,900 for a household of 4. The maximum income 165% is $141,735 or $99,330 for a 1 person household. Most HDFC coops are in prewar buildings that NYC owned by default and sold them to the existing tenants. it is a successful program that offers affordable housing, home ownership, limited equity and equity. These coops helped gentrify blighted neighborhoods like West Harlem’s Hamilton Heights/Sugar Hill Historic Districts that the study mentions.

Most of the new construction affordable housing in Manhattan is in the 80/20 program. Developers that build luxury developments get tax abatement's if 20% of the project is affordable.

While this is an excellent way of creating affordable housing the 20% is usually rentals and the income requirements are so low $20,00--$32,000 (approx varies building to building) that moderate income New Yorkers such as NYC teachers, policeman, nurses and many other working middle class New Yorkers make too much money for these units. 

A new  luxury condo going up on Riverside Boulevard by Extell Corp under the 80/20 program created a lot of media attention recently. Local politicians, activists and mayoral candidates all pandering with empty rhetoric about the separate entrances for the 80% wealthy condo owners and the 20% low income subsidized renters having separate entrances to the building. Much ado about nothing.

Personally I would very very happy to get a $million+ apartment on the Hudson river for $500/month no matter what entrance led to my luxury subsidized apartment. Not one politician or news article suggested the need for "affordable" housing for middle class New Yorkers. 

Manhattan certainly needs affordable housing. It needs affordable housing for the middle class. 80/20 is a great program but in my opinion it would be much better if it included affordable units for moderate incomes and for middle class New Yorkers.

Aug 14, 2013

REBNY | First Half Sales of All Homes in New York City


First half sales and average sales prices of all homes in New York City have been rising steadily since the lowest point of the recession in 2009. In the first half of 2009, 13,903 sales were recorded, with an average sales price of $652,000. The first half of this year registered combined sales of 20,563, up from 18,753 during the first half of 2012 and an average sales price of $792,000—up from $756,000 the previous year.

Manhattan and Brooklyn have seen the biggest increases in first half sales and average sales prices of all homes since the financial crisis. Sales in Manhattan have doubled since 2009, with 6,550 sales recorded in the first half of this year, up from 3,276 during the first half of 2009.

The average sales price of all homes in Manhattan has been rising steadily over the past four years—culminating at $1,452,000 in the first half of 2013, an increase from $1,361,000 in 2009. Brooklyn sales of all homes increased 62% in the first half of 2013—up to 5,139 from 3,166 during the same time period in 2009. Since the first half of 2009, the average sales price in Brooklyn rose 20% to $618,000 in the first half of 2013.

Below are graphs depicting the increase in sales and average sales price for the first six months of each year since 2009 in each borough and citywide.

Sales and Average Sales Price by Year Citywide
Average Sales Price

Sales by Borough and Year
Staten Island

Average Sales Price by Borough and Year
Staten Island

source: REBNY Reasearch

Aug 1, 2013

REBNY Study Finds Landmarking Stifles Growth

Landmarking of Manhattan Properties is Stifling Economic Growth

according to study by REBNY (real estate board of New York)

REBNY study finds more than one in four Manhattan properties are landmarked, making neighborhoods less affordable and driving up costs for property owners.

Nearly 30 percent of Manhattan properties are now protected by regulations governing 
landmarks a milestone that will stifle job creation and important economic development 
initiatives, increase the cost of living in New York, and further homogenize much of the
borough’s neighborhoods. 

A total of 11,857 or 27.7% of Manhattan properties are designated landmarks, according to the comprehensive analysis released today by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). 

In some neighborhoods, such as the Upper West Side and SoHo/Greenwich Village, of 
Manhattan the level of protected properties has reach a staggering 70 percent. As the ability to develop housing is constricted, housing prices increase and wealth concentrated heavily 
landmarked areas. 

Owners must expend time and resources on the administrative and discretionary process that landmarks designation represents, while also paying the hard costs of complying with landmarks standards. These regulations impose a special burden on those buildings that have a population 
whose income is unable to support the cost of complying with the largely unsubsidized Landmark regulations as well as those rent regulated buildings whose annual rent increases are set by
the Rent Guidelines Board. 

Other key findings of the study include: 70% of properties in Community Districts 2 (SoHo, Village area) and 7 (Upper West Side) are landmarked.

93% of all landmarked properties in Manhattan are located in historic districts, indicating how this broad brush approach to landmark designation undermines the landmark process by capturing numerous properties that have no historic significance, by including buildings that lack any architecturally noteworthy style or that have been so significantly altered that they lack distinction
48 vacant lots and 50 parking lots representing approximately 2.6 million square feet of 
development potential are on landmarked properties in Manhattan.

The study also noted that landmarks affect efforts to create a more sustainable New York. 
As property owners attempt to increase energy efficiency in landmarked buildings, it is becoming harder to find affordable fixtures that comply with landmarks standards. 

Preservationists such as West End Preservation Society and Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation mission is to preserve and protect West End Avenue and Greenwich Village to ensure that the architecture and historic significance will endure for generations to come, 
even in the face of major development. 

Preservationists and the Real Estate Board of New York have opposing missions and agendas. 

May 30, 2013

City Council Co-op Bill | Transparency? Accountability?

The introduction of a bill may help move NYC coops into the 21st century. A previous bill in the city council that would have made coops accountable by having to give a reason in writing why they rejected a purchaser was defeated.

REBNY ( Real Estate Board of New York) opposed the previous bill is now supporting a bill for a transparent coop application process. While the current bill may bring more transparency to the application process, in my opinion it still falls short. Until coops are required to give a reason for rejecting a buyer they will not be accountable.

REBNY now supports the introduction of legislation in the City Council that would mandate that each coop board produce a list of their requirements for a completed application and specify response times for co-op sales applications.

The bill would require cooperative housing corporations to provide a prospective purchaser a decision within a reasonable period of receiving a completed application. This is a step in the right direction. It may make the process fairer by having a uniform application process and requiring a timely response.

Prospective buyers and their representatives who spend time and money completing a lengthy and detailed purchase application process are entitled to a timely written answer.

Cooperative housing is a the dominant form of home ownership throughout NYC. A timely written decision to a buyer’s completed application will benefit buyers and sellers of coops and may even make coops a more desirable form of home ownership and may facilitate market activity since apartments are taken off the market once a contract is signed. The coop board approval process can often take up to 90 days or more.

While introduction of this bill is a a step toward transparency, since many coops have archaic applications and procedures, full transparency will only come when coops are required to give a reason for a board turn down.

Housing discrimination is a violation of federal, state and city laws. Real estate salespersons and brokers are required to take 3 hours of fair housing continuing education every two years. No training, education or skills are required to serve on a coop board.


This blog site is designed and published as a consumer service by local real estate broker to help Manhattan, New York City buyers, sellers and renters make informed real estate decisions. This site and its feeds are owned and operated by Mitchell J Hall, a NY State licensed real estate associate broker associated with The Corcoran Group and member of the Real Estate Board of New York.

Legal Disclaimer - The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not neccessarily reflect the opinions or policy of The Corcoran Group. This site is not the official website of The Corcoran Group or its affiliated companies, and neither The Corcoran Group nor its affiliated companies in any way warrant the accuracy of any information contained herein. Any product and/or services offered for sale on this website shall not be considered an offer to sell such goods and/or services in any state other than New York.

Legal Disclaimer - Information on this site is not intended as legal or financial advice. - All material herein is intended for information purposes only and has been complied from sources deemed reliable. Though information is believed to be correct, it is presented subject to errors, omissions, changes or withdrawal without notice. I operate a business that supports Fair Housing.“We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program which there are no barriers to obtain housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familiar status or national origin.”

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