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It Happened One Weekend: Market Still Getting Good Grades, a Trump Foreclosure, More!

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1) Because many post-peak deals have yet to close, the brokerages' fourth-quarter reports will actually appear quite rosy. Josh Barbanel writes: "A review of city filings suggests that when the final reports on the fourth quarter of 2008 are released early next month they will show that average and median prices on closed transactions increased slightly over the previous quarter and held their own compared with the same quarter in 2007." You see? Everything is fine! OK, maybe not. The number of transactions has dropped 30% from the previous quarter and 15% from last year, and the sharp price declines will be apparent in the Q1 2009 reports. [Big Deal/'The Fourth Quarter Puzzle']

2) A 5,500-square-foot penthouse at the Trump International in Columbus Circle is currently enmeshed in foreclosure proceedings, but we're not talking about a stock trader or a hedgie here. The owner, who is also listing apartment for $28.5 million, is an Italian film producer who recently spent some time in jail. The apartment's interior was gutted in 2001 and the work is still unfinished, which means it's probably a wreck, but luckily there's a 50-foot wall of windows to distract you (click on the floorplan to expand). [Big Deal/'A Cliffhanger of a Listing']

3) According to a new report, Manhattan now has an 11.8-month supply of unsold inventory, "not terribly big" but significantly bigger than a year ago, Brooklyn has a 13.8-month supply and Hudson County, N.J., went a little crazy with the condos over the past few years and now has 24.1 months' worth of unsold inventory. [In the Region/'Housing Inventories on the Rise']

4) With lenders dangling 4.9 percent mortgage rates, the temptation to refinance is causing phones at the offices of mortgage brokers to ring off the hook. Should you make a move? That depends. [Mortgages/'The Refinancing Dilemma']

5) A young couple with a very tight budget go on the hunt for a one-bedroom apartment in Astoria, looking at mid-rise buildings because "if you can see your kid playing, then you have a dialogue between the building and the sidewalk." Using some hard-nosed bargaining techniques, they manage to knock a FSBO down from $315,000 to $314,000. [The Hunt/'Apartment Hunters in Astoria Say, So Long, Suburbs']

6) The West 23rd Street birthplace of writer Edith Wharton has gone the way of many an unofficial New York landmark: conversion to a Starbucks. [New York Observed/'From Wharton’s Window, the Ghosts of a Scandalous New Year's']

7) What do you do when your apartment building forbids dogs and cats? You get a rabbit. Or a parrot. Or a chinchilla. Or a tortoise, python, ferret, gerbil, guinea pig or, obvs, a bearded dragon. ['The UnDog and the NonCat']