New York

The last game of the Islanders’ season may have had little impact on the playoff picture, but for those who attended from Providence House it was a great way to feel connected to the community. For the final event of the New York Islanders’ 2016-2017 season, Ridgewood Savings Bank donated 20 seats to the Brooklyn-based charity, Providence House.
 
Providence House was founded in 1979 and serves women who are homeless, escaping abuse or were recently released from prison. The organization helps residents obtain permanent housing, get an education and develop job skills while providing daycare for children and access to a registered nurse.
 
"Providence House is an important part of our community, so when the opportunity for us to send residents to an Islanders game came up, we were more than happy to donate the tickets,” said Anthonie Marshall, branch manager at Ridgewood Savings Bank. “Ridgewood has always made giving back a priority. It’s great to be a part of an organization that thinks that way.”
 
Ridgewood Savings Bank started a partnership with the Islanders in 2015, donating over $40,000 to local charities (like Prospect Park Alliance and Providence House). In 2016, the bank donated $10 for every save made by an Islanders goalie, totaling nearly $24,000.
 
“Ridgewood has always been a great supporter of ours,” said Scott Stepp, development director of Providence House. “But the enthusiasm level was at an all-time high when we mentioned this donation to our residents. Hockey has really taken off in our area and they were all really excited to attend a professional game.”

 
New York State recorded 25,366 closed sales in the first quarter
New York State recorded 25,366 closed sales in the first quarter, a 2.7 percent year-over-year rise, according to data from the New York State Association of Realtors (NYSAR). For March, there were 8,889 closed sales, a 2.9 percent increase from one year ago.
 
The first quarter’s statewide median sales price was $245,000, up 6.5 percent compared to the first quarter of 2016’s median of $230,000. The statewide median sales price for March was $249,000, a 9.5 percent spike form the March 2016 median of $227,500. Pending sales increased 5.1 percent to reach 30,596 in the first quarter compared to the 2016 first quarter total of 29,121. The March pending sales level of 12,610 was four percent above the March 2016 level of 12,129.
 
However, the months’ supply of inventory dropped 23.6 percent at the end of the first quarter to a 5.5-months’ supply; at the end the first quarter of 2016, the level was at 7.2 months. Inventory stood at 61,857, a decrease of 19.6 percent compared to the 2016 first quarter.
 
“An overall healthy economy and the specter of mortgage rate increases combined to keep buyer activity at a record-setting pace throughout the 2017 first quarter,” said Duncan R. MacKenzie, CEO of NYSAR. “The number of closed sales may well have been pushed higher if buyers had not been constrained by the ongoing decline in the number of homes available for purchase.”

 
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has announced the indictment of a New York City landlord on six felony charges for his involvement in a scheme to obtain a $5 million mortgage to purchase a rental building.
 
According to a statement issued by Schneiderman’s office, landlord Dean Galasso allegedly submitted false mortgage documents to Investors Bank, including a falsified rent roll, to obtain a $5,025,000 mortgage to finance his acquisition of a 10-unit rental building in lower Manhattan. Galasso also allegedly forged certain leases for units in his building to support the false information contained in the rent roll used by the bank in its mortgage approval.
 
“Bad landlords are now on notice: if you attempt to break the law, we will find you and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law,” Schneiderman said. “Our task force will continue to identify, investigate, and prosecute those who try to game the system.”
 
Galasso faces one count of Grand Larceny in the First Degree, a Class B Felony, two counts of Forgery in the Second Degree, Class D Felonies, two counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, Class D Felonies, and one count of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a Class E Felony. If convicted, Galasso faces up to 25 years in prison.

 
he residence of one of New York City’s most notable yet elusive celebrities is now on the market—for the first time in 63 years
The residence of one of New York City’s most notable yet elusive celebrities is now on the market—for the first time in 63 years.
 
According to a New York Times report, the seven-room co-op that was the home of movie icon Greta Garbo from 1954 until her death in 1990 is up for sale. The residence, which takes up the entire fifth floor of the exclusive Campanile apartment building at 450 East 52nd Street, is being put on the market by Derek Reisfield, the actress’ great-nephew, whose family owned and occupied the residence since Garbo’s passing.
 
During her years living in New York, sightings of the notoriously private Garbo became something of a tabloid sport—Garbo frequently shielded her face whenever she detected cameramen lurking near her—and the current listing for the property marks the first time that public ever saw her home. The residence is accessed by its own private elevator and covers 2,855-square feet, with three bedrooms, three full baths, a home office, a laundry room, storage space and sweeping views of the East River.
 
The asking price for the co-op is $5.95 million, with a monthly maintenance of $9,090. Alas, mortgage brokers will not have a chance to be a part of this celebrity real estate deal because the Campanile requires all-cash transactions for property purchases.
New York State recorded 25,366 closed sales in the first quarter
Winter 2017 home sales remained strong during February in New York State, with the 7,391 closings representing the second highest total for the month, according to the housing market report released by the New York State Association of REALTORS (NYSAR). The January statewide median sales price of $242,000 represents an increase of 4.3 percent from a year ago.
 
“It’s been a very strong start to 2017, reminiscent of the first months of 2016’s record-setting run,” said Duncan R. MacKenzie, CEO of NYSAR. “With one eye on rising mortgage rates and the other on a declining selection of homes, it appears that buyers are jumping at the opportunity to make an offer when they find the right property.”
 
The February 2017 sales total of 7,391 represents a decrease of 6.7 percent from the February 2016 record total of 7,925. The February 2017 statewide median sales price was $242,000, an increase of 4.3 percent from the February 2016 median of $232,000. February 2017 pending sales increased by three percent from a year ago to reach 9,410.
 
“We continue to monitor the ongoing decline in homes listed for sale,” MacKenzie said. “In February, both the number of homes for sale and the number of new listings declined. As we move closer to the typically active spring and summer months, low inventory may apply a braking action to an otherwise strong housing market.”
 
The month’s supply of homes for sale dropped 23.9 percent at the end of February to 5.4 months’ supply. It was at 7.1 months at the end of February 2016. A 6 month to 6.5 month supply is considered to be a balanced market. Inventory stood at 60,570, a decrease of 18.8 percent compared to February 2016.
The Brill Building, one of New York City’s most culturally significant commercial properties, was foreclosed upon by Brookfield Properties
The Brill Building, one of New York City’s most culturally significant commercial properties, was foreclosed upon by Brookfield Properties, which held a mezzanine loan on the historic structure.
 
According to a Crain’s New York report, the 11-story Times Square-area landmark was purchased by the real estate investment firms Brickman & Associates and Allied Partners in 2013 for $185.5 million. The new owners sold a minority share to additional partners last summer in a deal that valued the property at $310 million. However, the owners ran into problems in leasing the 40,000 square feet of retail space in the building’s ground floor, which resulted in their mezzanine loan going into default.
 
"We made an investment four years ago that was predicated on certain retail rents, and instead those rents dropped tremendously, and we couldn't generate the cash flow we expected," said Steven Friedman, Brickman's chief investment officer. "Across the spectrum you're seeing retail just getting creamed for a variety of reasons, and this is an unfortunate result of those problems … It's very tough when, call it, 40 percent of your space isn't performing where you thought it would." Friedman said.
 
Built in 1931, the Brill Building became the epicenter of pop music production in the 1950s and 1960s, with offices and recording studios of the music industry’s leading songwriters and producers. At its peak in 1962, 165 different music-related businesses were headquartered in the Brill Building.
When living in the world’s financial center capitals, it helps immeasurably to have plenty of money to pay for rental properties
When living in the world’s financial center capitals, it helps immeasurably to have plenty of money to pay for rental properties. And according to a new survey from RENTCafé, three U.S. financial centers have the world’s highest rents.
 
In an overview of the 30 top global financial centers, New York City boasted the highest monthly rent, with a $3,680 average rent for a one-bedroom apartment. San Francisco came in second, averaging $3,360 for the rent on a one-bedroom apartment, followed by Boston at $2,930. Other pricey markets included Hong Kong at $2,740, Geneva at $2,320 and Zurich at $2,200.
 
At the bottom of list, the most affordable global financial center was the Moroccan city of Casablanca, where the average rent on a one-bedroom apartment was $820. 
The Big Apple has become increasingly tastier for Russians in search of U.S. real estate
The Big Apple has become increasingly tastier for Russians in search of U.S. real estate, according to new data released by the residential start-up TripleMint.
 
In tracking inquiries from prospective international buyers searching the TripleMint Web site for New York residential property, the company discovered an extraordinary increase in online searches out of Russia. Last year, Russian inquiries ranked 20th among overseas web searches, but for 2016 the Russians were ranked second, just behind searches emanating from the United Kingdom.
 
"We had no idea that we were going to find that," said David Walker, TripleMint's CEO, in an interview with CNBC. "It was fascinating seeing this data and how much search traffic has picked up from Russia."
Rounding out TripleMint’s top 10 nations searching for New York real estate were the prospective buyers from Canada, India, France, Philippines, Australia Germany, Argentina and Italy.
 
In keeping with their slogan, “multiply the good,” Ridgewood Savings Bank has teamed up with the New York Islanders
In keeping with their slogan, “multiply the good,” Ridgewood Savings Bank has teamed up with the New York Islanders, pledging to donate $10 to local charities for every save made by an Islanders goalie this season. So far, past the halfway point in the season, the “Save With Ridgewood” sponsorship has led to nearly $20,000 in donations.
 
“The Islanders goalies have made 2,058 saves, as of today,” said Leonard Stekol, Ridgewood Bank’s president and COO. “Which means we’re on pace for donating more than $20,000 again this year.”
 
As the Islanders goalie tandem continue to make saves, future money will also be donated to Brooklyn Community Housing and Services (BCHS), committed to ending homelessness in Brooklyn, providing short-term, transitional and permanent housing services.
 
“With the funds raised so far, we’ve donated $10,000 to the Prospect Park Alliance for its free ‘Sticks and Skates presented by HSS’ weekly kid’s clinics,” said Domenico Ciaccio, AVP of Community Relations for Ridgewood. “We are so pleased to help out the Brooklyn community. That money goes to providing children with the helmets, sticks, pucks, elbow pads, gloves and with a chance to learn how to play hockey.”
 
Fans can track saves and make donations as the season progresses on the Islanders’ Web site. Last year, with this program, Ridgewood Savings Bank donated $22,410 to charities.
The 2017 Annual Strategic Real Estate & Lending Summit will be held at The Stewart Hotel in New York City on Thursday, June 15, 2017. This year's Summit will explore the state’s residential and commercial markets, regulatory and compliance challenges, and emerging trends in the mortgage industry.Luncheon Keynote Speaker Adam Schefter of ESPN, will be joined by Clark Gillies, former NY Islander, as well as featured AM Speaker AnneMarie DiCola, CEO, TREPP.
 
Click here to register.