The following is a roundup of real estate news items:

The following is a roundup of real estate news items:

REBNY reports: Prices and permits up, sales down
The Real Estate Board of New York, a real estate industry trade organization, reported this week that average sale prices for New York City homes rose 12 percent year-over-year in the second quarter to $824,000. The report, which tracks apartments and single-family to three-family dwellings in New York City, also found that the price of condominiums and cooperatives throughout the city jumped 21 percent year-over-year in the second quarter to $1.01 million. And the average condo sale price in the second quarter rose 33 percent in Manhattan compared to the same quarter last year, to $1.83 million.

Meanwhile, a 20-metro area Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller price index report, released Tuesday, found that New York City metro area prices fell 7.9 percent from May 2007 to May 2008 and dropped 0.5 percent from April to May.

Manhattan apartment sales dropped 33 percent from second-quarter 2007 to second-quarter 2008, to 3,306; condo sales dropped 16 percent, from 2,433 to 2,044 sales; and co-op sales fell 49 percent, from 2,470 to 1,262, according to REBNY. Other research companies have reported a similar trend in rising prices and slumping sales (see article).

In a separate report released today, REBNY announced that New York City residential building-permit activity rose 325 percent in June 2008 compared to the same month last year, with 17,000 permits issued throughout the five boroughs in June 2008. About 26,850 permits were issued In the first six months of 2008, compared to 16,650 for the same period last year.

Mortgage rates down — but so are applications
Mortgage applications fell 14.1 percent during the week ending July 25 compared to the previous week, and were down 30.3 percent from a year ago, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today. Refinance applications fell a seasonally adjusted 22.9 percent from the previous week, while purchase loan applications were down 7.8 percent. The refinance share of mortgage applications fell from 39.4 percent to 35.2 percent, while adjustable-rate mortgages accounted for 7.3 percent of applications, down from 8.5 percent the previous week.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 6.46 percent from 6.59 percent, with points increasing to 1.16 from 1.05 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 5.98 percent from 6.10 percent, with points increasing to 1.18 from 1.11 for 80 percent LTV loans. The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs increased to 7.25 percent from 7.16 percent, with points increasing to 0.39 from 0.29 for 80 percent LTV loans.

Hamptons real estate market slows down
The median sales price in New York’s Hamptons and North Fork market areas dropped 9.2 percent year-over-year in the second quarter, to $817,500, brokerage Prudential Douglas Elliman and appraisal company Miller Samuel reported today. The average price fell 13.2 percent, to $1.67 million; while listing inventory rose 30.7 percent, to 1,849 units; and the number of sales dropped 13.3 percent, to 541 units.

How to be a TV personality
SAN FRANCISCO — A panel of television personalities and producers gave tips on how real estate professionals can use television to boost business during the Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco last week. Sabrina Soto, host of "Get it Sold," which focuses on staging a home for sale, said that being a television personality on a real estate-related series requires the right mix of energy and passion for the industry.

Being very descriptive on camera is a star quality for agents appearing on television, and Soto suggests that agents who appear in video segments should be very lively in speech and actions to come across as fun and enthusiast. While this may feel too staged for some agents, producers tend to look for people who are naturally expressive, according to the panelists.

Allison Tom, a former reporter and news anchor for CNN in Atlanta who is a series producer for a variety of HGTV shows, said that agents featured on the network’s shows tend to generate business from the exposure.

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