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It Happened One Weekend: Market Reports Sneak Peek, Renters Enoying Newfound Power, More!

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1) The major brokerages' first quarter market reports will be released later this week, and "not even the most ebullient broker will be able to dispute" the souring of the market, Josh Barbanel writes. Oh really? Average condo sales prices will be actually be slightly up, because pricey new-development contracts negotiated months ago (William Beaver House, et al.) have finally closed. But that's it for the quote-unquote good news, because sales are down around 60% from last year, and they only total $1.8 billion, down from $5.1 billion during the first quarter of 2008. [Big Deal/'Not Just a Bad Dream']

2) How forlorn is the New York renter? Downtrodden enough that when a declining rental market allows a Morgan Avenue L-trainer to move two stops closer to Manhattan, she says, "It's like living in a dream!" But the point is rents are down across the board (though prices will still shock the uninitiated), and more building owners are paying brokers' fees, so there is money to be saved and deals to be had. ['Why Are These Renters Smiling?']

3) We've always been enchanted with City Island, the sliver of land floating off the eastern shore of the Bronx, but apparently the half-mile-wide old seafarers' haunt is well discovered. There are 4,500 people living on the island, and around that many movies and TV shows always filming. By the way, the controversy over replacing City Island Bridge (right) with this thing is still raging. [Living In/City Island]

4) In "The Sell," AKA the Reverse Hunt, the Wall Street meltdown forces a Park Slope couple to cut the price of their two-bedroom co-op over 20% to get a deal done. Maybe staging it with Ikea furniture didn't quite give buyers the sense that the place was worth $699,000? [The Sell/'Break Out the Eggshell White. Slash the Price.']

5) Finding a well-kept rent-stabilized apartment in Williamsburg is a Sisyphean task, but a sculptor/bookseller/furniture dealer and his architecture student girlfriend managed to snare a $1,850/month one-bedroom at Graham and Grand that they only had to sink $1,500 into to bring it up to their stylish standards. [The Hunt/'A Search for Stability']

6) Finally, Brooklyn's appeal revealed through the words of a young artist trying to decide whether to leave the motherland for the island of Manhattan: "The first time I came to New York, I didn’t leave Manhattan for like a month. When I finally went to Brooklyn and I got off the train, the vibe was so different, I literally felt like I was at the beach." Did we mention her sister got mugged in East Harlem by an 8-year-old? [The Voice/'Manhattan Dreaming']