Noah Rosenblatt is a senior associate broker with Citi Habitats in New York City but perhaps is better known for his blog UrbanDigs, which explores macroeconomic discussions and investment strategies for Manhattan real estate.

On a given week, UrbanDigs will explore the impact of the latest Federal Reserve actions with short-term interest rates, the state of the current credit crunch, and analysis of the latest housing forecasts.

The blog benefits from Rosenblatt’s background on Wall Street and knowledge of financial and real estate markets, and caught the attention of Inman News, which awarded it “Most Innovative Blog of 2006.”

Rosenblatt will speak at Real Estate Connect in New York City, Jan. 9-11, 2008.

He answered a set of questions posed by Inman News:

What do you see happening in the real estate market in 2008?

Still slumping. Vulture investors should definitely keep their eyes open as we are getting close to what may ultimately be known as the worst part of the housing slump of the early 21st century! Worst part to me means best long-term time to buy, but we are not there yet. The credit crunch and hit to the U.S. economy will put off any meaningful chance of a recovery for another year or two. It’s not going to be a good year though for those borrowers with resetting adjustable-rate mortgages, or for those who must sell and have a time pressure. Inventory will probably rise again before it falls.

What advice do you have to help real estate agents and brokers get through this market?

Service your clients and focus on ready-to-go buyers! Prequalify both for quality and for need to buy a home. It’s hard to sell in this type of market especially if your seller is not in a rush to move the property and wants to test the market with a high price. I would definitely advise agents to incorporate a buy-side service to their business and focus on that to get “bills paying” deals done. Seller clients are a nice bonus but may take longer to get the deal done.

What was your first job?

NASDAQ equities trader right out of college with Tradescape Inc.

What sparked the idea to start

The passion to talk in an open forum about what I’m thinking for that day; expand my business model to an uncrowded space; and reach a wide audience.

What made you want to get into real estate?

Combination of leaving trading and wanting to pursue my other passion, real estate. Urbandigs also had a lot to do with it as it started gaining an audience.

If you had one thing to do over again in your life, what would it be?

I would not buy and hold Foundry Networks (FDRY) from 2000 to early 2001. I lost a ton of my own saved cash and learned a very important lesson with this trade. It was my dot-com sob story; many people have at least one. But then again, I may not have learned an important lesson if it didn’t happen.

What style of home do you live in and when did you buy it?

I rent. I bought in November 2001, and sold that condo in July 2006. I live in a 900-square-foot JR4 in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

What worries keep you awake at night?

The credit crunch. It has for awhile. I think a lot of people aren’t respecting the potential problems that a true credit crunch can bring, and how widespread these problems can go. I worry about that, as I don’t want anyone to lose their job, home or saved assets.

What lesson did you learn in the last year?

Life is short. I lost my father in June to cancer and I definitely learned to respect and appreciate life much more.

What would your second career choice be?

Guitarist in a blues band.

What kind of music do you listen to?

Blues/Classic Rock. But I love the blues. Big BB King, Stevie Ray, Warren Haynes fan.

Who is your hero?

Dr. House, or maybe Dr. Cameron.

Hear Rosenblatt speak at Real Estate Connect in New York City, Jan.9-11, 2008. The conference program and registration are available online via the Connect Web site.

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