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It Happened One Weekend: Signed Contracts Heating Up

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1) The market thawed in May and the suddenly sizzlin' summer season helped brokers forget about the disastrous spring. Has Manhattan real estate finally settled in at 25% off last year's prices? Perhaps, but unemployment and shadow inventory are the lurking bogeymen that may derail this little recovery party. Says one wary broker, "I don't think there's anything to celebrate yet. A sigh of relief is a good way to put it." ['Contract Signings Rise, and Deal-Watchers Exhale']

2) Real estate developers may soon need a new marketing trend to exploit. It might come as no surprise that LEED-certified buildings aren't necessarily the most eco-friendly, and now the LEED program will track energy use by the buildings it certifies instead of just handing out a plaque and forgetting about the whole thing. Meanwhile, aiming to get on Mother Earth's good side, some developers are installing electric car charging stations in their buildings. ['Some Buildings Not Living Up to Green Label']

3) A rent-stabilized Upper West Sider with a weekend home in NJ decides to give both places up to look for a bigger pre-war pad "in the sliver between Riverside Drive and West End Avenue, between 86th Street to the south and Columbia University to the north." The budget is $1.5 million, and after a broker calls her "out of touch" she negotiates a $1.295 million West End Avenue two-bedroom down to $999,999. Suck it, mansion tax! [The Hunt/'After 16 Years, Seeing the Light']

4) The available stock of furnished rentals has surged. Why? Many homeowners don't want to sell, but suddenly can't afford to stay. And storage is expensive! In short, "There's nothing like an economic landslide to help a person move past the disquieting idea of sharing personal belongings with a stranger." ['For Now, It’s All Yours']