Noisy Construction in the Building

Q. A shareholder in our co-op is combining two apartments. For the past six months, the construction has made our lives miserable, tying up the elevator and disrupting any quiet enjoyment on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The board and the managing agent have shrugged off the concerns of shareholders, and we are at our wits’ end. Is there anything to be done?

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A. The co-op may have signed off on renovation plans, but that does not give your neighbor license to make everyone else miserable. “They can’t just do anything,” said Ingrid C. Manevitz, a partner at the law firm Schwartz Sladkus Reich Greenberg Atlas.

Your neighbors cannot create unreasonable noise. If they do, and the board fails to intervene, then you might have a claim against your neighbor and the building, Ms. Manevitz said. To prove that it is unreasonable, you could hire a consultant to measure the noise. Armed with that evidence, you may be able sue the building for violating the proprietary lease, the warranty of habitability and your right to the quiet enjoyment of your apartment. As for your neighbor, you may be able sue him for creating a private nuisance.

But litigation is expensive and grueling. Do any of us really want to get embroiled in a lawsuit with our building and neighbors? Gathering evidence of excessive noise could help you, even if you don’t sue: You could bring it to management, urging them to address the problem properly.

Consider the long view. Your neighbors will, eventually, finish the renovation. But this won’t be the last time someone takes a sledgehammer to a kitchen. “Many of my clients have endured renovations by neighbors before they proceed with their own,” said Paul Barnla, the founder of Artistic License Interiors, a contractor based in Brooklyn. “It’s a bit of a rite of passage and a trade-off for living in the big city.”

To prepare for the next big project, get more involved with your building and perhaps run for a board seat. With a leadership voice, you could influence how projects are handled. The board could revisit its standard alteration agreement, enacting stricter rules about how a contractor works and limiting hours (or even months of the year) when work can be done.

For More Information:- RONDA KAYSEN

Residential real estate : Sales, median price both up

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Millennial will have a limited supply of single-family homes to pick from as median home prices continue to rise and supplies of homes continue to be tight.

Realtors sold 609 single-family homes during March, the third greatest number during the past 12 months and highest since August, according to the Ocala/Marion County Association of Realtors. The data does not include homes sold by owners.

The number of closings during March was 12.4 percent higher than during March 2016 and up from February, when only 438 Realtor sales were recorded.

Along with more homes sold, the median sales price also rose to $142,000, up 11.6 percent from March 2016 and the highest since at least 2013. The year-over-year percent increase for the past 12 months has been in the double digits, with the greatest leap in January, when the median sales price increased 31 percent compared to the year before.

“I think we have healthy growth right now,” said Vicky Morrison, vice president of the Ocala/Marion County Association of Realtors. “And it’s growing steady and the prices are getting back to a normal market.”

Morrison is also the broker and owner of Bricks and Mortar Real Estate and Development.

Also reflective of a healthy market is the sales price in comparison to the original asking price. The median sales price for March was 96.2 percent of the original asking price. That was a 2.3 percentage points better than the same month in 2016. The 96.2 percent was the highest percent of the asking price since at least January 2013.

This is a good indicator of the recovering market, as buyers realize the market is starting to favor the seller.

Some of what’s driving the market could be more people moving to Marion County, Morrison said. She thinks new businesses setting up distribution centers here, such as Auto Zone and Fed Ex, are having an impact.

“Now we’re seeing a reflection in the housing market,” she said.

As sales numbers increase, the inventory of existing homes for sale is not keeping up with the demand. The inventory of active listings during March was 2,730 homes, a drop of 16.8 percent compared to March 2016. The consecutive year-over-year drop in inventory has been in the double digits since September 2016.

 

For More Information:- Fred Hiers

Foreign Banks Reduce Lending to U.K. Commercial Real Estate

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North American banks cut new lending for U.K. commercial property by more than half last year as a market slowdown reduced the number of big deals being done.

Banks focused more on refinancing existing loans than extending new credit, a trend that favored domestic firms, according to a survey of 77 lenders by De Montfort University. U.K. banks and building societies were the only group to record an increase in lending in a market hurt by the vote to quit the European Union.

North American banks active in the U.K. are generally focused on providing acquisition finance in larger transactions, of which there were far fewer last year, partly because of Brexit,” Jon Rickert, investment director at money manager GAM Holding AG, said in an interview.

The weakness of Britain’s commercial mortgage-securities market also prompted a “general rethink by several North American banks around the resources they want to commit to the U.K.,” he said.

Lenders from across the Atlantic extended 3.3 billion pounds ($4.2 billion) in new credit to British commercial property deals in 2016, down 56 percent from the previous year, according to De Montfort’s survey, published Thursday. German and other international banks cut new lending by 18 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

U.K. commercial-property investment shrank by more than a quarter last year with investment at the lowest level since 2012, researcher Costar Group Inc. said in February. The overall volume of new loans fell 17 percent to 44.5 billion pounds, with uncertainty in the run-up to the June 23 referendum on EU membership weighing on first-half activity, according to De Montfort.

New lending for acquisitions no longer accounted for the majority of the market last year. Banks also became more conservative about where they were willing to extend credit, with 48 percent of commercial-property debt secured against central London real estate, the most in at least 12 years, the survey showed.

For More Information:- Jack Sidders